The Social Sciences

Year: 2018
Volume: 13
Issue: 6
Page No. 1133 - 1141

Dialogic Communication: Reviving Mathematics and Science Pedagogy for the 21st Century

Authors : Sindiso Zhou and Nhlanhla Landa

Abstract: Mathematics and science are frequently perceived as complex and mentally demanding subjects by both teachers and learners. The prevailing perceptions of difficulty in conceptualizing scientific knowledge arise from the fundamental problematics of the role of communication skills in Mathematics and Science pedagogy. It is not enough for students to cram the periodic table and to master quadratic equations. Complex processes and abstract formulae require expression in simple, functional and concrete terms. For successful learning to take place, the teacher must be a skilled communicator who can select and unpack complex topics in order to facilitate shared understanding. This study proposes that functional communication skills in the learning of Mathematics and Science should involve exploitation of the dialogic approach to instruction as opposed to monologic methodologies. Given the background that knowledge without context is useless, this study argues that dialogic communication is an imperative instrument in the quest to contextualize knowledge. Furthermore, this study proposes a model that draws on Bakhtin’s conception of successful interaction as rooted in dialogue to account for dialogic interaction in classroom discourse. The study seeks to demonstrate that integration of dialogue and mediation in the stimulation of higher cognitive functions could result in the achievement of positive outcomes in the learning of Mathematics and science. Dialogic instruction as an emerging pedagogy makes scientific knowledge accessible to students and relevant to society for human development in the 21st century.

How to cite this article:

Sindiso Zhou and Nhlanhla Landa, 2018. Dialogic Communication: Reviving Mathematics and Science Pedagogy for the 21st Century. The Social Sciences, 13: 1133-1141.

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