Dude, don’t start without me!
Researchers, policy makers, and practitioners increasingly realize that engaging students as active participants in conversations in classrooms is central to the development of their skills and understanding. This chapter examines how students can interact with each other in beneficial ways and how the teacher supports productive engagement among students. A main focus is illustrating how students spontaneously transfer ways of engaging with each other that they experience in contexts with teacher support to contexts when the teacher is not present. Much empirical research supports the hypothesized benefits of active student participation for student learning. To understand how to promote beneficial dialogue in classrooms, researchers often study the role of the teacher. Teachers can set ground rules and guidelines for participation, such as supporting ideas with reasons or discussing alternatives before making decisions. Investigating teacher practice comprehensively will be essential for understanding more fully how students can be supported to engage with each other's ideas.