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Accountable Talk®: Conversation that Works

Designed for teachers and learners in every setting - in school and out, in formal learning environments or at home - this course is an introduction to the theory and practice of well-structured talk that builds the mind.

About the Course

Designed for teachers and learners in every setting - in school and out, in formal learning environments or at home - Introduction to Accountable Talk is an introduction to the theory and practice of well-structured talk that builds the mind. You will learn from the growing body of research and from educators who put it into practice, why intentionally structured talk promotes learning and how educators can design talk situations that promote learning. The course includes video examples of children and adults engaging in Accountable Talk in a variety of settings and will enable you to begin to build Accountable Talk in your own learning community. While the Accountable Talk program was originally developed for K-12 classrooms, its structures and practices are readily and productively applicable to any situation in which people get together and talk in order to learn. The course was developed by the School of Education and the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. The Institute for Learning was founded by Lauren Resnick, an internationally renowned cognitive psychologist, in 1995. Since then, under Resnick’s leadership, the Institute for Learning has worked to support the improvement of education and achievement of all students in more than 70 school districts in 23 different states.

Course Syllabus

The course syllabus will be refined as the course is developed. Below is a tentative list, though incomplete, of topics to be covered.

  • What is Intelligence and How Does It Develop?
  • Socializing Intelligence
  • Introduction to Accountable Talk — Research Base
  • Norms for the Accountable Talk Community
  • Tools for Accountable Talk
  • Organizing Groups for Accountable Talk
  • Designing Discussions for Accountable Talk
  • Implementing Accountable Talk

Recommended Background

No background is required. Anyone interested in learning the research and proven techniques about how to build structured conversations to get smarter or to help others get smarter is welcome.

Suggested Readings

Recommended readings will be provided as the course is developed.

Course Format

This class will consist of lecture videos, which are between 8 and 12 minutes in length, as well as video examples of Accountable Talk, which are between 2-12 minutes in length. Quiz questions will be provided each week, and there will be standalone homework assignments. There will be a final project — development of a plan for a productive Accountable Talk conversation.

Copyright

©2013 University of Pittsburgh