Theses Doctoral

Unearthing the Tubers and Shoots of Thought, Talk, and Praxis: A Historiography of Classroom Discourse in Theory and Practice

Gregory, Christian George

This dissertation submits as its project a history of dialogue in the classroom, from early recitation practices to the era of the teacher as a “sage on the stage,” the subsequent role of a participating observer or “guide on the side,” and more refined teacher roles as well as sharper definitions of discussion and dialogical practices (King, 1993, p. 30). For this research, I adopted a conceptual methodology, using Foucault’s critique and Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblages and rhizomic structures, to inform the mapping and dynamic of the historiography. In terms of practical methodology, I collected over 650 theoretical, empirical, and instructional works related to forms of classroom discourse. By mapping the territory of research on discourse in the English classroom, this work noted trends in the method, manner, and focus of research. Several critical shifts might be suggested regarding theory, research, and practice in relation to dialogue: in practice, first, a shift from quantitative, monological positions to more dialogical, polyphonic stances; and second, from research examining teacher questioning and evaluation to that focused on student responsiveness. In theory and research, this review suggested several noticeable trends in research methods: first, that classroom practice lags behind the theoretical imagining of the dialogical; second, that scholars have increasingly relied on Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories in the pedagogical frames of their research on discourse in the classroom; and third, that scholarship has shown a greater interest in international sites of study. Overall, although scholars have made strides in conceptualizing the dialogical classroom, greater interventionist studies and instructional works are needed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Fecho, Bob
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 14, 2018