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Ann S Pihlgren
When I, in the year 2000, began my position as principal at Freinetskolan Mimer, a private school in Norrtälje, I did a review of the work methods, routines and quality of instruction at the school. My impression as a new leader for the school was that the methods and instruction were of very high quality. In certain areas the work methods could be strengthened and improved. Such a development project concerned the children’s possibility to develop their thinking regarding value questions and ethical dilemmas through Socratic seminars as a work method1, with the methods used for example at the Paideia schools in the USA as a starting point. As a result of this work I will follow the project in my position of doctoral student at the Stockholm Institute of Education as a part of my dissertation.
– Comparing the dialogue in Socratic seminars and in progressive community meetings
Ann S Pihlgren, Stockholm University
The teacher‟s voice still dominates the classroom: a teacher talks 70-75 % of the time, even in discussions (Dysthe, 1996, Hillocks, 1989, Liljestrand, 2002, Nystrand, 1997). Where individual work or work in small groups is practiced, this pattern changes: half to two thirds of the talk becomes “desk-talk”, i.e. students talking to each other during teacher conducted discussions (Lindström, Arnegård & Ulriksson, 2003, Lindblad & Sahlström, 1998, Tholander, 2002). The conversational pattern of the classroom often is restricted to the teacher asking questions with given answers (Goodlad, 1983, Liljestrand, 2002). The lessons follow certain “rules” for interaction, during which the teacher dominates and the students try to discern the required solution (Edwards & Mercer, 1987, Lemke, 1990). Talk moves regarding knowledge or reasoning are relatively prevalent, but talk moves linking participants‟ ideas are not (Wolf; Crosson & Resnick, 2006).