• Ali Nouri, Dr. Department of Educational Sciences, Malayer University
Keywords: Dialogue, Dialogic Learning, Neuroscience and Education, Pedagogy


This paper represents an exploration of the educational value of dialogue as a teaching strategy in contemporary classrooms in light of recent evidences grounded in knowledge produced by social and cognitive neuroscience research. The relevant literature suggests that dialogue is a unique feature of humans and no other animal is able to dialogue as they do. Humans are biologically wired for dialogue and interaction with one another in socially and culturally shaped contexts. This dynamic interdependence of social and cognitive processes plays a critically important role in construction of knowledge and cognitive development. It is also well established that social processing in the brain is strongly interrelated with the processing of emotion. Children therefore, are social learners who actively construct meaning and knowledge as they interact with their cultural and social environment through dialogue. In conclusion, recent advance in cognitive and social neuroscience is providing a new basis for the communicative conception of learning in which authentic interaction and dialogue are key components. This suggests new avenues of research that need to empirically investigate the role of dialogue on students’ mind and brain development.


Download data is not yet available.


Adolphs, R. (2003). Cognitive neuroscience of human social behavior. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 165-178.

Alfassi, M. (2009). The efficacy of a dialogic learning environment in fostering literacy. Reading Psychology, 30(6), 539-563.

Bakhtin, M M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Trans. V. W. McGee. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Battro, A M. (2010). The teaching brain. Mind, Brain, and Education, 4(1), 28–33.

Bereiter, C. (2002). Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age. Mahwah, New Jersey, and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (2005). Technology and literacies: From print literacy to dialogic literacy. International Handbook of Educational Policy, 13, 749-761.

Blakemore, S-J. & Frith, U. (2005). The learning brain: Lessons for education: a précis. Developmental Science, 8 (6), 459–471.

Blakemore, S-J. (2010). The developing social brain: Implications for education. Neuron 65, 744-747.

Buber, M. (1970). I and thou (orig. pub. 1923; trans. W. Kaufmann). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Cacioppo, et al. (2007). Social Neuroscience: Progress and Implications for Mental Health. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2 (2), 99-123.

Cirulli, F., Berry, A. & Alleva, E. (2003). Early disruption of the mother-infant relationship: effects on brain plasticity and implications for psychopathology. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 27, 73-82.

Dewey, J. (1930). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

Fischer K W. & Immordino-Yang M H. (2002). Cognitive development and education: From dynamic general structure to specific learning and teaching. In E. Lagemann (Ed.), Traditions of scholarship in education (pp. 2-55). Chicago: Spencer Foundation.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Frijters, S. Dam, G. & Rijlaarsdam, G. (2008). Effects of dialogic learning on value-loaded critical thinking. Learning and Instruction 18, 66-82.

Frith, U. & Frith, C. (2001). The biological basis of social interaction. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10 (5), 151 – 155.

García, R. (2012). Out of the Ghetto: Psychological bases of dialogic learning, International Journal of Educational Psychology, 1 (1), 51 ­ 69.

Geary, D. C. (2002). Principles of evolutionary educational psychology. Learning and Individual Differences, 12, 317-345.

Geary, D. C. (2008). An evolutionarily informed education science. Educational Psychologist, 43, 179 – 195.

Goldin, A. P., Pezzatti1, L., Battro, A. M. & Sigman, M. (2011). From ancient Greece to modern education: Universality and lack of generalization of the Socratic dialogue. Mind, Brain, and Education, 5 (4), 180-185.

Goswami, U. (2008). Principles of learning, implications for teaching: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42(3-4): 381-399.

Habermas, J. (1987). The theory of communicative action (V. 2). Life world and system: A critique of functionalist reason. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hari, R. & Kujala, M V. (2009). Brain basis of human social interaction: From concepts to brain imaging. Physiology Rev 89, 453–479.

Immordino –Yang, M H. (2011). Implications of affective and social neuroscience for educational theory. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43 (1): 98-103.

Immordino-Yang, M H. (2007). A Tale of two cases: Lessons for education from the study of two boys living with half their brains. Mind, Brain, and Education, 1, 66 – 83.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. & Damasio, A. R. (2007). We feel, therefore we learn: The relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education, Mind, Brain and Education, 1 (1), pp. 3–10.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2008a). The stories of Nico and Brooke revisited: Toward a cross-disciplinary dialogue about teaching and learning. Mind, Brain, and Education, 2(2): 49–51.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2008b). The smoke around mirror neurons: Goals as sociocultural and emotional organizers of perception and action in learning. Mind, Brain, and Education, 2(2): 67- 73.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2009). Social neuroscience and its application to education. In S. Feifer & G. Rattan (Eds.), The neuropsychology of emotional disorders (pp. 15–22). Middletown, MD: School Neuropsychology Press.

John-Steiner, V., & Tatter, P. (1983). An interactionist model of language development. In B. Bain (Ed.), The sociogenesis of language and human conduct (pp. 79-97). New York: Plenum Press.

Kandel E. R. A. (1998). A new intellectual framework for psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry, 155 (4), 457–469.

Lewis, C., Freeman, N H., Kyriakidou, C., Maridaki-Kassotaki, K. & Breeidge, D M. (1996) Social influence on children’s false belief access: Specific sibling influences or general apprenticeship? Child Development, 67, 2930–2947.

Lieberman, M D. (2012). Education and the social brain. Trends in Neuroscience and Education 1 (1) 3 – 9.

Maguire, E. A., Gadian, D. G., Johnsrude, I. S., Good, C. D., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R. S. J. & Frith, C.D. (2000). Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97(8): 4398-4403.

Meltzoff, A N., Kuhl, P K., Movellan, J. & Sejnowski, T J. (2009). Foundations for a new science of learning. Science, 325: 284- 288.

Nouri, A. (2013). Practical Strategies for Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Neuroeducational Studies. International Journal of Cognitive Research in science, engineering and education (IJCRSEE), 1 (2).

Nouri, A. Sajadi, S. (2014). Emansipatory pedagogy in practice. International Journal of Critical pedagogy, 5 (2), 76-87.

Pickering. M J. & Garrod, S. (2004). Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and Brain Science, 27 (2), 169- 225.

Pihlgren A S. (2008). Socrates in the classroom: Rationales and effects of philosophizing with children. Stockholm University.

Rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience 27: pp 169-192.

Shor, I. & Freire, P. (1987). What is the “dialogical method” of teaching? Journal of Education, 169 (3), 11- 31.

Taylor, L M. (2005). Introducing cognitive development. Psychology Press: Hove & New York.

Van der Linden, J. & Renshaw, P. (eds.). (2004). Dialogic learning: Shifting perspectives to learning, instruction, and teaching. London: Kluwer.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.

Wegerif, R. (2007). Dialogic education and technology: Expanding the space of learning. New York: Springer

Wegerif, R. (2011). Towards a dialogic theory of how children learn to think. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 6 (3), 179- 190.