By the same authors

Speaking but not listening? Accountable talk in an unaccountable context

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

DateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2010
DatePublished (current) - Nov 2010
Issue number3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)103-111
Early online date21/10/10
Original languageEnglish


Taking the 2009 UKLA conference theme of ‘‘making
connections and building literate communities’’ and
recalling Hoggart’s plea for literacy to be critically and
morally engaged rather than merely functional, this
paper calls for a reassessment of the pursuit of literacy
in schools so as to connect the language of learning
with the language of democratic participation. Given
what we know about the way classroom talk mediates
both learning and culture, the paper takes such talk as
its focus, comparing the author’s principles of dialogic
teaching with Resnick’s criteria for accountable talk.
The paper then contrasts these idealised versions of the
discourse of pedagogy with the public discourses of
power, noting the prevalence of four discourse types –
derision, dichotomy, myth and meaninglessness –
through which, in pursuit of political goals, governments
rewrite history, simplify the problematic, dignify
the mundane and marginalise unpalatable evidence.
This prompts an addition, in the interests of meaningful
citizenship as well as effective learning, to
Resnick’s criteria of accountability to the learning
community, standards of reasoning and knowledge:
accountability to language itself.

Bibliographical note

© 2010 UKLA. Published by Blackwell Publishing.

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