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Teacher Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (T-SEDA)

This project bridges and capitalises upon the outcomes of two recent research projects about classroom dialogue. ‘Classroom dialogue’ refers here to productive forms of student-teacher talk that stimulate students’ critical thinking and help to develop students’ deep knowledge and understanding in different subject areas.

Our recent large-scale ESRC-funded project encouragingly demonstrated that certain features of whole-class dialogue are strongly linked to student learning and positive attitudinal outcomes. This significant finding calls for widespread teacher professional development to promote this practice. We are now scaling up impact by employing a custom-designed set of guidelines to support teachers working independently of a research team. The impact project includes primary schools from the original ESRC sample as well as further primary/secondary schools and networks. The T-SEDA pack is an extensive resource that supports teachers in leading their own inquiry and impact activities. It focuses on identifying key features of classroom dialogue using a teacher-friendly version of the Scheme for Dialogue Analysis (SEDA) derived from British Academy funded research with Mexican collaborators.

T-SEDA has been developed by a team at the University of Cambridge that includes researchers and practising teachers. It has also been used by practising teachers beyond the team in a range of schools in different countries, across age groups and subject areas. This ongoing trialling has generated useful feedback which continues to improve the pack. A summary of the pack contents is as follows:

T-SEDA: A User's Guide

T-SEDA Resources

  • Section 1: Coding framework
  • Section 2: Developing dialogic practice
  • Section 3: Identifying aims, interests and inquiry focus
  • Section 4: Observation methods including technical guidance for audio/video recording and transcribing
  • Section 5: Templates for observing and coding
  • Section 6: Case studies
  • Section 7: References to other research on dialogue and links to related resources

Project activities to cascade impact and dissemination will include introductory impact workshops, remote support for professional development, and further engagement with a wider audience of practitioners. While our previous research has confirmed the value of working with teachers as research participants and co-researcher colleagues, we now aim to engage in wider capacity building in schools. This impact project relates to the current public policy push for teacher inquiry. Our approach is in line with what is already known about factors that support impact, including the furthering of existing networks and relationships with teachers, acknowledging the expertise and active role of teachers, developing good understanding of policy/practice contexts and encouraging teachers, as users, to bring their knowledge of context to enhance impact.

Anticipated outcomes include:
  • evidence of improvements in practice (higher quality dialogue features shown by our recent study to correlate with student attainment); increased teacher understanding of dialogue
  • insights into influence of teachers’ initial understandings and levels of dialogic practice
  • impact case study materials including illustrative video exemplars
  • a resource website for dissemination
  • reports for schools and journal publication

Project Information


Sara Hennessy

Ruth Kershner

Other T-SEDA team members:

Farah Ahmed

Elisa Calcagni

Laura Kerslake


Vrikki, M., Kershner, R., Calcagni, E., Hennessy, S., Lee, L., Estrada, N., Hernández, F., and Ahmed, F. (2018). The Teacher Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (T-SEDA): Developing a research-based observation tool for supporting teacher inquiry into pupils' participation in classroom dialogue. International Journal of Research and Methods in Education. Available here


ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

May 2018 - March 2019 (11 months)

Contact details Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group