chapter  40
12 Pages

Dialogue and shared cognition

An examination of student–student talk in the negotiation of mathematical meaning during collaborative problem solving
WithDavid Clarke, Man Ching Esther Chan

This chapter examines the interconnections between social and cognitive activity without invoking notions of “dialogue” or “dialogic.” The terms dialogue and dialogic are used in a very specific way in the sense of facilitating and considering multiple voices and perspectives through communicative acts to create shared meaning and to explore new meanings. Learners are seen as active and agentic in their involvement in the community as they negotiate and renegotiate their understanding of the subject matter and the social conventions shared by the community. The focus on the negotiation of meaning as the mechanism for learning suggests a two-way conversation, i.e., a dialogue, driven by the human desire to achieve intersubjectivity. The chapter suggests that the terms co-cognitive, inter-cognitive, and intra-cognitive are not describing forms of “talk” but rather the thought processes that might be associated with particular forms of talk. For example, exploratory talk, as described by N. Mercer, may signify intra-cognition, while cumulative talk may signify inter-cognition.