How to get students talking & discussing more

Hattie (2012) “teachers need to change to far less talk and much more listening”  Visible Learning for Teachers (p. 80). 

  • “Teachers talk between 70 and 80 percent of class time (p. 80)
  • Student engagement is higher when teachers talk less, this is especially true for at-risk students 
  • Only “5-10 per cent of teacher talk triggers more conversation or dialogue engaging the student” (p. 81)
  •  Research shows that “when highly effective and other teachers were compared, the former had more general class talk and less directive talk” (p. 81)
How do we light the fire within students to express their thinking?

Dr Aaron Wilson and Jacinta Oldehaver in their research in Talking about Text (TaT) worked to change traditional patterns of teacher dominated talk in the classroom and found that achievement rates in TaT classes were higher than in previous years and also higher than students in non TaT classes because of the changes in teacher talk. They found that students really benefit from more rich talk about text (in all secondary subjects).

So how do we get students talking more in secondary classrooms?


But we need to start slowly and build up to students talking/discussing/arguing/explaining etc in the classroom.
Google Doc - Teacher asks a question, students respond on Google Doc shown on screen
Google forms - students respond individually, teacher collates and shares
Google slides - Think, pair, share then each group creates a slide
Google sheets - each student/pair/group put notes into the labelled columns (questions, categories/ perspectives etc)
For each of these apps the students explain or justify their decisions using the SOLO taxonomy while others send feedback related to the level of SOLO used.

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