Readiness Of Teachers To Dialogue In The Educational Environment: Problem Statement


The authors raise the problem of the readiness of a modern teacher for expanding interaction and communication with children in a sociocultural educational environment. The essence of pedagogical communication is revealed in the context of a dialogical approach. The development of the teacher's relationship with children in the educational environment is viewed as a complex dialectical process and identifies a number of criteria for its study: the purpose, motive, content, ways, mediators and meanings of interaction, forms of organization. The authors study the main problem of dialogue (interpretation, mutual understanding) and characterize the language as a communication space, and speech as the main "tool" of mutual understanding. The concepts of promoting, co-creation, and socio-cultural experience are revealed in their interrelation from the standpoint of a dialogical approach. The paper substantiates the vector of the transition from promotion to co-creation, aimed at amplifying the child's social and cultural experience, taking into account age opportunities, individual characteristics and the educational request of the family. The paper includes the results of the questionnaire survey of 1230 teachers from six regions of the Russian Federation, who have different teaching experience. The authors make a significant conclusion that the basis for a modern teacher's preparedness for dialogue is the ability to model a sociocultural educational environment that flexibly combines the external and internal space of interpersonal communication.

Keywords: Dialoguecommunicationsociocultural educational environment


Dialogue plays a central and irreplaceable role in the development of the child. M.M. Bakhtin gave this comparison: "Just as a body is formed first in the womb of a mother, the consciousness of person wakens, wrapped up in someone else's consciousness" (Bakhtin, 1986).

To implement a dialogical approach in modern education, a sociocultural environment is created that provides multi-faceted communication between the "adult-child", "child-other child", "child-other children". Such an environment allows each child to successfully self-actualize, show their own individuality and activity, and discover meanings.

The meaning of a word, an action, an act, an image, a sign, a symbol, etc. can be opened by the child only in communication and interaction with an adult. Psychologists state that emotional-personal communication is the leading activity of children of infancy and early age, determining the success of their development. At subsequent stages of human development, the conversation is understood more widely and diversely, which is designated by the term "communication". In this regard, the educational environment begins to be understood as a communication space built on dialogues. Dialogue (Greek Διάλογος - "conversation"), in turn, is regarded as a specific form of communication and communication, the essence of which is the exchange of information between two or more people. At the same time, it is important that the dialogues be sociocultural in nature, and the meanings are both cultural (universal) and personal (individual).

Problem Statement

In the cultural-historical concept of L. Vygotsky's the development of the child is directed not by the "strength of things" but by the "connection of people", because "through others, we become ourselves" (Ivanova, 2015). In psychological and pedagogical studies, culture is regarded as an "internal source" of the psychic life and general development of the child "(Vygotsky, 1983; Rantavuori, Engeström, Lippone, 2013; Rockestein, 2015). Cultural forms of communication and behavior are mastered by him/her in the process of appropriating the socio-cultural experience (Mukhina, 2012) in the process of meaningful interaction with other people - adults and children. The essence of language lies in the constant socio-cultural exchange.

In modern science, language is understood as a sociocultural, interactive, evaluative phenomenon. According to the philosopher M. Bakhtin, the derivative of this sociocultural phenomenon is the meaning (Bakhtin, 1986). The importance of dialogue for the development of consciousness and speech was studied by the philosopher M. Mamardashvili, who showed that the consciousness of each person develops within a cultural whole, in which the experience of the activity, communication and world perception crystallizes (Mamardashvili, 1990; Neale, Pino-Pasternak, 2017). O. Ushakova demonstrated the important role of speech in the children’s familiarization with the environment and setting up the system of connections with it in the process of the language personality formation (Ushakova, 2018; Rockestein, 2015).

The philosopher and psychologist V. Zinchenko developed a dialogical approach to the study of socio-cultural experience. (Lykova, 2016). He expressed an extremely fruitful idea that the most difficult thing is "... to understand how a person in a real, life situation resists uncertainty and achieves certainty (effect, result)” (Zinchenko, 2010). He also showed that the meaning is the main functional system that provides in such situations the decision making and the implementation of an adequate action. V.P. Zinchenko suggested that "... the complexity of the external world must not be confronted simply by the complexity, but by the super complexity of the inner world:" the space of the inner excess " (Lykova, 2016). This inner space exceeds the complexity of the external world and at the same time should be meaningful (ibid.)

The modern approach to the study of the adult-child dialogue offers a method of exceeding the limitation of individual events of the language and, at the same time, proposes to consider subjects in their interaction. (Sullivan, 2013) describes dialogism as "an interaction that evaluates all reasoning in connection" (Zaporozhets, 1986).

Developers and followers of the dialogical approach show the necessity of studying intersubjectivity (Sullivan, 2013; White, Peter, Redder, 2015). Communication is at the center of the educational system, as it is the main means of interaction (Lobok, 2012). Researchers ask the following questions: how does the socio-cultural context affect the development of the child? how and why changes occur? how do children become so different from each other? (Siegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg, Saffran, 2014).

The perception by teachers of their role as emotional socializers is important as well (Zinsser, Shewark, Denham, Curby, 2014), especially for young children when the emotionality, content and meaning of adult language play a major role in developing consciousness (Neale, Pino-Pasternak, 2017).

In recent decades, educators and psychologists turned to the notion of "educational environment". This term allowed to significantly expand the scientific understanding of the object-spatial environment. The educational environment is positioned as 1) part of the sociocultural environment, in which conditions the aims and meanings of education are achieved (Vygotsky, Leontiev, Slobodchikov, etc.); 2) a system of influences and conditions for the formation of the personality, as well as opportunities for its development (Novikov); 3) purposefully created system of influence and interaction of the environment (social and spatio-subjective) with the subject, within which personality formation takes place and opportunities for its development are opened. (Ivanova, . Rubtsov, Yasvin, etc.).

Rantavuori J., Engeström Y., Lippone L. believe that the theory of cultural and historical activity should be turned into a method and procedure of systematic empirical analysis and become a professional tool of the modern teacher for the organization of the educational environment (Rantavuori, Engeström, Lippone, 2013)

Research Questions

The research involved the search for theoretical and practical answers to the following questions:

  • What is the essence and specificity of dialogue as the main form of communication in the educational environment?

  • What is the characteristic of the modern educational environment as a space of dialogues?

  • What is the readiness of teachers of the first two levels of education (pre-school teachers and elementary school teachers) to develop dialogue in the educational environment?

  • Is a modern teacher ready to model a sociocultural educational environment and what competencies are needed for this?

  • What psychological and pedagogical conditions ensure the success of communication in the form of dialogues aimed at the discovery of meanings and the development of socio-cultural experience?

Purpose of the Study

The strategic goal of the study is to develop a model of the educational environment based on dialogues and aimed at amplifying the socio-cultural experience of each child, taking into account its individual characteristics and the educational request of the family.

The tactical goal is the scientific substantiation of the readiness of teachers of the first levels of education (educators of preschool educational organizations and elementary school teachers) to dialogue in the sociocultural educational environment.

The materials of this article reflect the main results of achieving a tactical goal for understanding the problem identified and the prospects for further research.

Research Methods

  • The natural (field experiment) allowed to collect and analyze objective facts revealing the specifics and content of dialogues in natural conditions (in games, conversations, walks, in the process of free artistic creativity of children and in different types of co-creation of the teacher with children). In the research protocols, questions, comments, speech utterances, non-verbal means of communication between children and adults are recorded in the course of various activities.

  • The questionnaire was used to study the teachers' readiness for communication in the educational environment. Full-time interviews were conducted by researchers in person during the 5 scientific-practical conferences and 17 authorial seminars, remote ones – in a virtual environment using the resources "Google forms" and "". In total, 1,230 people from six regions of the Russian Federation (Arkhangelsk region, Belgorod region, Samara region, Moscow region, Republic of Udmurtia of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Rostov region) took part in the survey.

  • SWOT-analysis has allowed to identify and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the model of the educational environment developed by the authors of the article, as well as to determine its capabilities and risks. This allowed us to comprehend the possibilities of the innovation model and to determine the range of issues related to the implementation of this model by educators in the real educational process.

  • The modelling experiment was used to study communication in specially created conditions of the educational environment. In this case, typical actions or activities were modelled, which allowed to successfully solve and solve various research problems. This method allowed to engage 250 pedagogues to the research (at different stages of it), who successfully tested the method of dialogue, the technology of modelling the educational environment and creative tasks aimed at developing the semantic aspect of children's speech.

  • Formative methods were used in a variety of their types: aerobatics experiment, psychological and pedagogical experiment, transforming experiment, forming experiment, experimental genetic method, method of step-by-step formation of mental actions, etc. The use of such a system of methods is conditioned by the need to reorganize certain aspects of the educational process and identify the impact of these changes on the content of the dialogues and the level of communication. The forming experiment was used to study the influence of specific innovative technologies on the development of various aspects of communication, which allowed developing and testing of a pedagogical model for the development of communication between the teacher and children in a sociocultural educational environment.

  • Psychodiagnostic techniques : "Maps of the assessment of the educational environment" E. Fayzullaeva, "The methodology of vector modelling of the educational environment". V. Yasvin (adapted by V. Kozhevnikova); a questionnaire on the motivational readiness of a teacher to work in conditions of variable forms of education (adaptation of A. Mayer's methodology); a questionnaire "Teacher's readiness for dialogue in the educational environment", developed by the authors of the article were used during the research.

  • Methods of processing the results of the research: qualitative analysis, descriptive statistics. Calculations were carried out with the help of computer programs "STATISTICA 12.0" and "Microsoft Excel".


The main idea of M. Bakhtin, underlying this article, consists in interpreting the dialogue as a socio-cultural phenomenon and understanding the interaction of subjects of educational relations as communication in a certain space and time (Bakhtin, 1986). According to M. Bakhtin, the key prerequisite for dialogism is that any language is half its own and half-foreign (ibid.). Dialogism assumes mutual understanding to be born and manifested through the creative process of real communication and interaction in a particular situation, and not through some neutral, universal code that can be transferred from one person to another. In this context, communication is interpreted as a space of understanding, an act of interaction and the "birth" of a general consciousness, which constantly changes the social and cultural experience not only of the child but also of the teacher.

The authors of the article developed a questionnaire that made it possible to get an estimate the answers of 1230 teachers, indicating readiness (or non-readiness) for dialogue in the educational environment (see the section "Methods of research"). The results of the survey showed the following:

  • On the first factor - motivation - the interviewed teachers gave the following answers: 89.9% - "to accept the child as he/she is, regardless of the merits and demerits"; 66.7% "take the opportunity to learn something new from children", 87.6% - "to show interest in the child, his/her questions, hobbies", etc. These data confirm the motivation of teachers for dialogue in the educational environment.

  • On the second factor - personal characteristics - 79.9% of the interviewed teachers expressed the following judgments: "I trust the child, his/her abilities"; 71.74% - "draw conclusions from the events, their successes, and failures"; 83.4% - "taking care of oneself", etc. These data confirm the teachers' personal-oriented "Self-concept", which demonstrates the main readiness for dialogue.

  • By the third factor - knowledge, skills (professional competencies) the analysis of teachers' answers showed that they understand how important: 42.8% - "show sincere interest in opinion, idea, position of the child"; 21% - "jointly determine goals, create conditions for children to have experience in setting goals"; 22.2% - "to design the content of education for joint searches and discoveries"; 35,1% - "to refrain from interfering in what the children prefer to do themselves", etc. The survey data on this factor show that a significant part of the interviewed teachers lacks the knowledge and skills to build a genuine dialogue in the educational process.

In general, an analysis of the results of a survey and the content of speeches by teachers at conferences makes it possible to assert that the main difficulties for teachers are related to the lack of formation of professional competencies (rather than lack of motivation or personal characteristics of teachers). To overcome this difficulty, it is necessary to create conditions for increasing the teachers' professional competencies related to the willingness to organize the educational environment as a communication space. Good perspectives are seen in this direction, as the questionnaires show that teachers correctly interpret the term "educational environment" and understand the importance of modern approaches to its organization at all levels of education.

Here are some examples of interpretations of the educational environment by kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers: "this is a world of discoveries for the child", "the environment is defined as the set of factors that determine the education and development of the individual, the socio-cultural and economic conditions of society, affecting education, the nature of information and interpersonal relationships, interaction with the social environment," "part of the socio-cultural space, the interaction of educational systems, their elements, educational material and subjects about "system-shaped space in which the interaction of subjects of the educational process with the external environment is realized, as a result of which individual personality traits of the child are revealed", "this is not only an educational space but also a person-oriented educational process; in addition, any educational environment is determined by the sum of local environments for the child: environment versus situation; the family; the group; the establishment of education; the yard, the district, etc. ".

To prove the purpose of communication in the educational environment, it is important to define the sociocultural experience. Sociocultural experience includes those norms, values, attitudes, patterns of behaviour, modes of activity that are specific to a given sociocultural community. The word "activity" is understood in the widest sense, as any form of material and spiritual development by a person of the surrounding world. They are formed during the historical development of a sociocultural community and are acquired by an individual during his/her development and formation. In the psychological form, the sociocultural experience is the knowledge of objects, phenomena, relationships, and patterns that are sensibly "given" to the cognizing subject in the process of communication with culture and society. The logical structure of cultural experience is conditioned by the unity of direct and indirect knowledge (i.e. knowledge, skills, and feelings).

The goals of interaction between children and adults in the educational space determine the form of relationships as the basis for dialogue. If the goal is the opening of a universal culture by children (at the level of their development and appropriation), then the real form of communication will be assistance. If the educational goal implies an entrance to the level of cultural creation (the experience of translation and development of culture), which is impossible without the experience of "discovery" (knowledge) of oneself through the "discovery" (cognition) of another person, then the best form of communication can only be co-creation. The vector of growth of one form into another is amplification (expansion, enrichment) of the socio-cultural experience (Lykova, 2016).

Amplification (from Latin amplify - enrichment, expansion, facere - to do) is understood in modern science as 1) increasing, expanding, enriching, spreading, enhancing the parameters in a complex multifactorial system; or 2) using the potential of the development of the psyche at every age stage (Zaporozhets, 1986).

Analysis of the results of the research confirms the truth of the position of the cultural-historical concept of L. Vygotsky on a three-stage scheme for the development of dialogue (Vygotsky, 1983). At the first stage, an adult with the help of signs-words (words-motivations) stimulates the child to deal actively with objects (or subject content). In the second stage, the child gives feedback, due to a comprehension of the words-impulses addressed to him/her, and words-influences directed towards the adult. At the third stage, the child draws words-of-influence to himself/herself and begins to regulate his/her own behavior. At all levels of communication, the word (speech) plays a key role in adult-child dialogues only if the child discovers the meaning of the word - cultural and personal.

In the process of research, the authors developed and tested a system of conditions for designing an educational environment, built on dialogues, oriented to "discovering" the child's sense of the word - cultural and personal:

  • axiology, growing out of a system of value orientations, expressed by a word (for example, patterns, norms and models of human behaviour);

  • integrity, which implies "insight" of the object (object, substance, material) or cultural phenomenon into a multitude of value-semantic contexts, which allows the child to master the meaning as an extra-contextual phenomenon;

  • a system based on the establishment of semantic links and relationships between objects and cultural phenomena, as well as on the patterns of the functioning of culture itself as an integral system;

  • cognitive activity related to the motivations of the child's activity (cognitive, speech, social-communicative, artistic, research, motor);

  • projectivity associated with the establishment of semantic and emotional value values between the mastered and assimilated cultural experience, between actual and potential levels of development; between the present and the future projected.

The prospects of our research are related to the development of the model of the educational environment as a communication space. The model of the educational environment is a flexible form of organization of the conditions for interaction between subjects of educational relations, the components of which in their totality are designed to solve specific educational problems and are combined according to a functional feature. Criteria for the effectiveness of the model of the educational environment are the content saturation (resource potential) and structure (the way of organization of communication).

Main findings:

  • The importance of the teacher's readiness for dialogue in the educational environment is substantiated. Professional competence related to the communicative abilities and abilities of the teacher is described through the key concept of "dialogue".

  • The specificity of the educational environment directed to supporting communication in different situations of interaction between children and close adults (teachers and parents) has been revealed. The socio-cultural character of the modern educational environment, built on dialogues, is revealed.

  • The place of the dialogue in the development of the child's social and cultural experience is shown. In its psychological form, cultural experience acts as the knowledge of objects and patterns that are sensually "given" to cognizing subject in the process of his becoming familiar with culture. The logical structure of cultural experience is conditioned by the unity of direct and indirect knowledge (the unity of knowledge, skills and feelings).

  • The value of the dialog is revealed as "discoveries" the meaning of words's by children. The interrelation of cultural (universal, meta-subject) and personal (individual, unique) meanings is grounded.

  • It is suggested that the basis for the teacher's readiness for dialogue is the ability to model a sociocultural educational environment in terms of the vector of amplification of child development.


The development of the teacher's relationship with children in the modern educational space is a complex dialectical process that can be studied according to the following criteria: goal, motive, content, forms, methods, mediators (meanings) of interaction. Language is the space of communication, and human speech is the main communication tool that allows people to exchange information, understand each other, "discover" cultural and personal meanings.

The main problem of communication is understanding. Understanding is due to the ability of the subjects of interaction not just to exchange information, but to decode cultural codes. A cultural code bearer makes sense. The cultural meaning is universal, which allows people to understand each other. The personal meaning is individual, which determines the uniqueness of each interaction situation. In their activities, thoughts, experiences, deeds, assessments, each child acts as a subject of culture, because in one way or another he relies on universal meanings - spiritual and moral. Dialogue approach to designing a sociocultural educational environment is a key condition for the development of each child. In this regard, it is necessary to expand the view of modern teachers on culture and the possibility of designing the content of education on the basis of cultural practices as the methods of self-determination that are habitual and desired for the child.

Understanding the nature and structure of the sociocultural environment makes it possible to justify the model of its organization in conditions of variable education at all its levels, beginning with the pre-school level. It is extremely important that the educational environment includes all participants in educational relations, represents the conditions for meaningful communication in the form of dialogues and developing activities. At the heart of teachers' readiness for dialogue is the ability to model (and create) a sociocultural educational environment for the vector of amplification of a child's development, taking into account its individual characteristics and the educational request of the family.


This work was carried out within the framework of the state assignment of the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education for the project "Forming a system for assessing the educational achievements of schoolchildren as a mechanism for improving the quality of general education" (draft 27.9204.2017 / BCh). The experimental data presented in the article were obtained in the framework of the research of the Institute for the Study of the Childhood of the Family and Education of the Russian Academy of Education, "The System of Psychological and Pedagogical Support of the Educational Process in Preschool Children" (project 25.9403.2017 / BCh). For the support of research directions, the authors of the article thank S. Ivanova, Doctor of Sc., Prof., Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Education, Director of the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education (ISED RAE) and T. Volosovets, Ph.D. of Pedagogic Sciences, Prof., Director of the Institute of the Study of Childhood, Family and Education of the Russian Academy of Education (ISCFE RAE). For consultations about the language as a space of communication, express the words of gratitude of O. Ushakova, Doctor of Sc., Prof., M.R.O. ISCFE RAE. During the preparation of the article, recommendations of V. Kudryavtseva, Doctor of Sc. Prof., Head of the Department of Theory and History of Psychology of the Institute of Psychology. L. Vygotsky Russian State University for the Humanities, incl. his ideas about the principle of cultural appropriateness and thoughts about the meanings - cultural and personal.


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Cite this article as:

Lykova, I. A., Kozhevnikova, V. V., & Merzlikina, I. V. (2018). Readiness Of Teachers To Dialogue In The Educational Environment: Problem Statement. In S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 46. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 409-418). Future Academy.