Enacting the art, craft, and science of pedagogy

Structured talk is at the heart of the teaching-learning interchange, as major international studies such as that of Alexander have shown.

Whilst this is clearly not a new idea, it is the case that taken-for-granted strategies such as 'chalk and talk' or 'show and tell', are being superseded by much more sophisticated teaching strategies. This development rests on improvements in our understanding of effective teaching which balance teacher exposition with pupil engagement and activity. For a fascinating book based on video footage of teachers in action in the classroom, try Moyles et al. where the authors engaged with the teachers in 'reflective dialogues' to understand their teaching and used these to highlight issues that are essential to interactive teaching.

Another driver of new pedagogic developments lies in growing understanding of the social dynamics of classrooms. Socio-cultural theories have provided a completely new way of thinking about teaching (see Readings Chapter 2, for a paper from Vygotsky and for several other socio-cultural selections). Daniels explores the pedagogic implications of a wide range of work which has been influenced by Vygotsky's theories of learning, and illustrates how Vygotskian theory can be applied in the classroom.