The Role on Non-expert Adult Guidance in the Dialogic Construction of Knowledge

Itxaso Tellado, Simona Sava


As Lev Vygotsky defined the Zone of Proximal Development, he did not imagine children interacting only with adults who had teaching expertise, such as teachers; instead, he meant "adult guidance" in a broad sense. This article examines the interactions between students and adults with a wide range of backgrounds in various contexts of dialogic learning. A literature review, plus six case studies conducted in different European countries as part of the INCLUD-ED project, show that students learn more if they engage in activities with various adults in their community. This finding has clear pedagogical implications: non-expert adults provide new ways of teaching the same material, which transforms the traditional teaching, enriching the learning process and improving students' results.