chapter  4
Positive challenge
Pages 15

There are many dialogues that take place in classrooms that allow children to express their thinking. However, as Fisher (2003: 136) states, these dialogues do not always provide the cognitive challenge that is needed to extend children’s thinking. If a child’s view is challenged, they have to clarify and justify their viewpoint and when other viewpoints are put forward then these alternative ideas have to be considered. Dialogue that includes these two factors will extend thinking and hence understanding and learning. Our experience tells us that this is a skill many children find difficult to master.They need a lot of practice in both group and class situations if they are to become confident in challenging each other positively.