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The Dialogic Learning Weekly #180

Welcome everyone to another issue! It is amazing to see us approaching 200 editions of this little ne
The Dialogic Learning Weekly
The Dialogic Learning Weekly #180
By Tom Barrett • Issue #180 • View online
Welcome everyone to another issue! It is amazing to see us approaching 200 editions of this little newsletter.
Sorry to have missed you last week, I needed a break with the family during the school holidays. Now into further lockdowns and restrictions here in Melbourne and Victoria, we were grateful to have the chance to get away.
This week: Dickensian Feedback; Peeling the onion; 4 Year Milestone.

Feedback in the style of A Christmas Carol
When you are asked to provide feedback, or if you have those moments of reflection about your own practice, consider this temporal trio. (No that is not a band!)
Connect the feedback dialogue to the present, past and the future.
When you are exploring a problem or issue: consider and explain three things that are working right now.
think about specific things that are going well will alter your brain chemistry so that you can be open to new solutions and new ways of thinking or acting.
Now look back at past experiences, “When you had a problem like this in the past, what did you do that worked?”
Get him thinking about that and seeing it in his mind’s eye: what he actually felt and did, and what happened next.
Hit the final part of the Christmas Carol by looking ahead at experiences yet to come: What do you already know you need to do? Some great questions to explore, from the article:
“What do you already know works in this situation? Why didn’t that work? Why do you think you should do that? What do you actually want to have happen? What are a couple of actions you could take right now?”
Explore the longer article (below) which outlines this strategy, plus a stack more ideas about the feedback dynamic and better ways we can navigate it.
Your Talking Point
Why is it important to connect your feedback dialogue to the story so far?
Why Feedback Rarely Does What It’s Meant To
Peel the Onion
I stumbled on Ron Ritchart’s venn diagram below and it got me wondering about some of the assumed practices it relies upon.
If you took each of the ideas shared and peeled back the layers - what do they rely upon? What foundations are the “powerful practices: listening, questioning, and documentation” built upon?
Ron Ritchhart
to use thinking routines powerfully, we must situate in the center of 3 other powerful practices: listening, questioning, and documentation
Here is my go at looking at the foundational practices that exist a layer a little deeper.
Listening —> Be Present
We have to be actively present to truly listen. Not just to hear what is spoken or shared, but to listen deeply. This is challenging with so many students, but I know it becomes easier. Embodied listening.
Questioning —> Be Curious
We have to care about what we are experiencing and empathy starts with curiosity. Feeling compelled to develop our understanding, before we share or demonstrate our understanding. Questions help us navigate both sides of this. Follow your curiosity.
Documentation —> Be Respectful
Learning and thinking is complex. Capturing it will always be part of the jigsaw, just one version of what is really going on. We have to respect that. We have to respect the limits of what we can understand about student’s thinking and learning. Documenting and capturing moments of learning in their raw form, without judgement, allows them to carry their own message.
Your Talking Point
Don’t just accept new ideas or practices, dig deeper, peel the onion and seek out what principles they depend on.
Four Year Anniversary
About four years ago I started my business Dialogic Learning Pty Ltd. Some of you might not know that the business came before the newsletter. 🎂
I am proud to say we have managed to survive, and thrive, in the last four years. And that is not the “Royal we” as you may recall I took on Chad Ferris, a full time team member in February this year. Just as our lives were being impacted by the global pandemic.
If my business can survive this year, I know it is resilient.
Our approach is to:
create the spaces and places where great dialogue can flourish
I know this newsletter has been one of those places for many of you and I am sincerely grateful for your support as a subscriber.
Also a big thanks and a slice of virtual cake, to all the amazing individuals, teams, schools and businesses that have made the last 4 years a great success!
Digital hugs all round. Thanks for exploring this week’s issue.
As always let me know: What resonates?
In dialogue we trust.
~ Tom
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Tom Barrett

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