The polyphonic classroom: Are we all special educators?

David Skidmore

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


In this chapter, I ask whether a dialogic approach to pedagogy can help us in thinking about the important and seemingly intractable issues which confront any attempt to move towards a fully comprehensive pattern of educational provision (Skidmore, 2004). In particular, I explore the ramifications of the concept of ‘polyphony’ that was developed by the Russian writer Mikhail Bakhtin (Bakhtin, 1929/1984). Whilst Bakhtin was mostly concerned with literary theory, particularly the theory of the novel, I argue that his development of this concept has the potential to cast light on aspects of education and pedagogic practice, particularly where these concern our thinking about the value of human heterogeneity and how this impacts on our approach to communicative interaction in the classroom, and other educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBildning för alla! En pedagogisk utmaning
Place of PublicationKristianstad, Sweden
PublisherKristianstad University Press
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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