INCLUDE-ED Dialogic Literary Gatherings
Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLG) is one of the Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) identified in the research project INCLUD-ED. DLG are used to improve education of children and youth in different contexts around the world. DLG is a dialogic reading activity based on two principles: reading a classical literature book (as Romeo and Juliet, the Odyssey, Don Quixote) and then sharing meanings, interpretations and reflections with the dialogic learning methodology. It can involve children and their family members. This example provides an understanding of DLG and the results of their practice.
Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLG) is one of the Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) identified in the research project INCLUD-ED - Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education (European Commission, 6th Framework Program, 2006-2011). INCLUD-ED analysed educational strategies that contribute to overcoming inequalities and promote social cohesion, and those generating social exclusion, particularly focusing on vulnerable and marginalised groups. The SEAs supporting education of pupils at risk, have universal components which have been shown to be transferable in very diverse contexts, leading to educational success. DLG are used to improve the education of children and youth in different contexts around the world.
The importance of reading in society goes without saying. Since reading is a basic skill for further learning, students struggling with it will inevitably have serious problems in other disciplines. Conversely, good reading skills facilitate access to other areas of the curriculum and, more generally, reduce the risk of repeating classes and dropping out of high school. In other words, reading difficulties correlate with higher rates of underachievement, segregation, early school leaving, and educational inequalities. This affects particularly different minorities, such as immigrants or Roma students, who are very often segregated in formal and informal procedures, in different school contexts and also within school where they are already enrolled.
In line with the evidence coming from the learning sciences, specifically in the field of reading, DLG raises the quantity and quality of interactions of all students through a dialogic approach of learning. The theory of dialogic learning maintains that learners reach deep understanding of the subject engaging in processes of personal and social transformation through dialogues that are egalitarian, recognize and build upon each person’s cultural intelligence. Dialogic learning seeks transformation, enhances the instrumental dimension of dialogue, is based on solidarity, acts as a source of creation of meaning, and promotes the equal value of different backgrounds.
DLG can be used as independent practice but they are also implemented within schools as 'Learning Communities', along with other SEAs such as Interactive Groups and Family Education. 'Learning Communities' is a project based on a whole school intervention through SEAs to overcome early school leaving and to improve school performance and social cohesion. The improvements achieved in these schools induced the European Commission and the Council of Europe to recommend schools as 'learning communities' as one of the approaches to reduce early school leaving and improve learning outcomes.
Thanks to the SEAs presented in two international conferences in the European Parliament in Brussels, thousands of children all over Europe have improved their achievement, increasing their opportunities to continue their school career successfully. The social and political impact of this project has been the reason why the European Commission has included it in the list of the top-10 research projects with the highest impact in Europe; INCLUD-ED is the only one from the socio-economic sciences and humanities selected to be in the list.
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