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In some approaches to dialogic pedagogy research, authentic questions have long attracted attention, since the prevalence of authentic questions has been used as an indicator of the dialogic quality of classroom activities. However, this article offers an analysis of the concept of authentic questions in the research literature and shows that this concept is less clear than is commonly assumed. For instance, descriptions and definitions offered are very heterogeneous even within particular studies, and classifications of authentic questions vary across research literature. The analysis identifies four different, implicit conceptual elements in “authentic question” — some of which cannot be reconciled. The analysis also identifies an important underlying theme, namely mutual recognition and respect, in descriptions of authentic questions. Accordingly, the article concludes with the recommendation that future research on authentic questions includes this theme explicitly in reflections on the identification of authentic questions.
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