By Dr Helen Bound (IAL) and Associate Professor Tan Seng Chee (NTU)

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Traditional teaching approaches such as long lectures and limited learner engagement do not meet the learning needs of the future, or even of current dynamically changing contexts. As educators we need to use different approaches. Dialogical inquiry puts a focus clearly on learners and their learning, uses learners’ authentic problems or issues enabling learners to build and co-construct knowledge and deep understanding. In these ways it provides learners with much greater control over the learning process, drawing on their rich experiences as resources for learning. Along the way, learners develop their learning to learn capabilities – important in being able to thrive in changing work and labour market contexts – and also deepen their sense of identity of what it means to be a particular profession or vocation e.g. a nurse, an accountant, an engineer, a cleaner and so on.

This booklet explains how dialogical inquiry approaches different from more traditional approaches, what the essence of the approach involves and suggests some tools that readers may wish to use in trying out this approach. The contents of this booklet are based on an in-depth qualitative research project conducted by the authors.