Dialogic Teaching

The education system as whole, both in this country and around the world, has academic achievement as one of its key aims. There is, however, many other crucial objectives of education. It is a belief held by the Religious Studies and Philosophy department at The Perse that the development of empathy in young people is a crucial goal of education. This is a view which is also shared by The Perse’s wider values and vision. Charlotte Deadman aims to produce a case study which demonstrates the effectiveness of using dialogic teaching and learning in Religious Studies to allow pupils to develop a greater understanding of others. She hopes that this will draw attention to the central role of dialogue in the classroom which is arguably “the true foundation of learning” (Alexander, 2008, p.9). In providing a detailed snap shot of the nature of the learning undertaken by Year 7 pupils studying Buddhism, Charlotte strives to show how opening the dialogic space between students, teachers and textual sources can allow for pupils to display real development in their cognitive empathy.

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