The Dialogic Classroom: Bakhtin and the Valuating Perspective

Anders Öhman


This article deals with the idea of the dialogic classroom and its influence on the pedagogic discussion in Sweden, especially in the teaching of literature as part of Swedish language edu- cation. Through a discussion of Bakhtin’s theory of the dia- logic, I argue that it is problematic to construct an opposition between experience-based teaching of Swedish and a more traditional approach that emphasises the literary canon. The teacher’s valuative relationship towards what he or she is teaching is important in order to initiate a dialogue with stu- dents, regardless whether the material being taught belongs to the literary canon or to popular literature. It is argued that Bakhtin’s theory has an unrecognized potential for the teach- ing of literature.

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