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Journal for the Study of Religion

On-line version ISSN 2413-3027
Print version ISSN 1011-7601


LEGANGER-KROGSTAD, Heid. From dialogue to trialogue: A sociocultural learning perspective on classroom interaction. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.104-128. ISSN 2413-3027.

Dialogues in multireligious public schools do not run smoothly by simply gathering a plural group of learners in the same classroom. Classroom studies show that many conversations go on in circles around provocative statements from a few students creating a debate to make the lesson pass quickly to avoid the teacher from teaching. The discussion in this article will be based in a sociocultural perspective on learning and addressing the teacher's responsibility to facilitate the dialogue whether the degree of diversity she faces in Religious Education (RE) is high or low. Her task is to achieve a development of the dialogue from a repetitive exercise towards a learning experience. Dialogue is usually understood as an encounter between two persons exchanging views, in an oral dia-logue. The trialogue is defined by an intentional extension of the dialogue by introducing a mediating tool between the two persons, a third 'voice'. The third voice might be a material artefact or a practical task. The mediating tool is a cultural entrenched tool which makes the dialogue more informed and creates a common ground for negotiation. The teacher is the one that sets up the rules for the dialogue in the classroom, creates a safe space, and chooses what educational material to give attention. There is a need to discuss some age specific strategies on how to facilitate this informed dialogue or trialogue during compulsory education in the ages of 6-15.

Keywords : dialogical education; informed dialogue/ trialogue; multi-religious-classrooms; RE-teaching; empirical educational practice; sociocultural learning theories; learning artefacts.

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