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Researchers from BGU's Department of Education Awarded ISF Center of Excellence Grant

Dec. 24, 2017

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In recent years a broad consensus has emerged that dialogical discourse, in which complex issues are examined through deep dialogue, may promote the learning and cognitive development of students. However, despite this wide consensus and the many studies that support it, it is rare to find such productive educational dialogue in the classroom.

Researchers Prof. Adam Lefstein, Prof. Guy Roth and Dr. Dana Vedder-Weiss​ from BGU's Department of Education​, along with Dr. Christa Asterhan from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Dr. Hadar Netz from Tel Aviv University, have been awarded a new grant from the Israel Science Foundation​ for a comprehensive study on the subject of academically productive educational dialogue and its contribution to learning and development processes in the classroom. The grant totals an amount of NIS 3.5 million over the course of five years.

The current study, based on studies carried out and being carried out in the department's pedagogy research lab, aims to explore the reciprocal relationship between dialogue in the classroom and cognitive skills, motivation for learning and academic achievement. In addition, the study will examine the social, cognitive and motivational factors that hinder or promote productive dialogue in the classroom. In addition, the study aims to promote understanding of the reciprocal relationship between formal structures of teachers' professional development and informal processes of learning while working. This study will be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in order to promote and support the development of productive classroom dialogue in native language studies.

The research team comprises of five researchers, who are experts in a range of fields, including cognition, motivation, classroom discourse research, linguistic ethnography and professional development of teachers. The method to be used in the study reflects a multi-disciplinary approach using a combination of quantitative data analysis of teaching and learning processes, design-based applied research anchored in collaboration between academia and the field, and micro-ethnographic discourse analysis.