Commentary on Eugene and Kiyo’s dialogue on dialogic pedagogy

Main Article Content

Rupert Wegerif


This fascinating dialogue raised many questions. In this commentary I will focus on just three questions that particularly stimulated me to further reflection: ‘why classification?’; ‘what is ontology?’ and ‘where does agency come from?’

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How to Cite
Wegerif, R. (2014). Commentary on Eugene and Kiyo’s dialogue on dialogic pedagogy. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 2.
Special Issue: Dialogue on Dialogic Pedagogy
Author Biography

Rupert Wegerif, University of Exeter

I am interested in the theory of education and the big picture of how education is changing now in the emerging Internet Age. The kind of theory I like most is useful theory, theory that can help us improve practice. Most of the research projects that I lead or supervise adopt a Design-Based Research approach. This means starting with a theory, using this to design practice, and then observing and reflecting on what happens in order to improve the theory for the next time. For me this general  approach does not only work well in specific contexts, such as  finding the best way to use tablets to teach and learn maths  in a Year 2  primary classroom, but also applies more broadly to the role of theory and research in education.

In recent publications such as ‘Dialogic: Education for the Internet Age’, I have developed a dialogic theory of education inspired by ideas from Merleau-Ponty, Bakhtin, Levinas and Derrida. I find this theory very useful for understanding the new models of education that the Internet, and related digital technologies, make possible. I also think it is useful for understanding what it really means to think and how education can help us teach for thinking and creativity. For example, in a European project called ‘Metafora’, this theory was applied to developing online tools and classroom based pedagogical strategies for teaching ‘Learning to Learn Together’ (L2L2) which I take to be the essential complex competence needed for the Internet Age.

In addition to writing and research I coordinate the Centre for Teaching Thinking and Dialogue, edit (with Anna Craft) the journal Thinking Skills and Creativity and coordinate (with Gert Biesta) the EARLI SIG on ‘educational theory‘ (SIG 25)