Next Steps with Academic Conversations

New Ideas for Improving Learning with Classroom Talk

Conversation was not invented to help people choose right answers on tests. It evolved to solve problems, build ideas, build relationships, and understand others and the world. Yet despite its power to grow minds and hearts, effective conversations are still too scarce in our schools.

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Jeff Zwiers, an educational researcher at Stanford University, has spent the last 15 years analyzing classroom conversations to see how they can be better used and improved in classroom settings. Teachers who have worked with him report significant growth in students’ engagement, content learning, language, creativity, and sense of agency.

Jeff shared his initial vision for classroom conversations in his 2011 book, Academic Conversations. In this follow-up book, Next Steps with Academic Conversations, he builds on those original ideas by offering:

  • an updated synthesis of conversation work across disciplines and grade levels

  • highlights of the most recent classroom-based research and theory on classroom conversation

  • answers to questions that have emerged during this work with teachers and administrators

  • new classroom strategies and practices for fostering and assessing classroom conversations

This resource is the product of his extensive research, co-teaching, and collaborating with a wide range of educators. It was written for busy teachers who want a practical guide for strengthening the quality and quantity of productive conversations in their lessons. 


About the Author(s)

Jeff Zwiers, Ed.D., is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He has taught in diverse elementary and secondary schools and has worked as an instructional coach in urban school settings. His current research and professional development work consist of collaborating with teachers to learn what works best in real classrooms to help students learn through rich interactions and conversations.


Product Details

Grade Range: 3-12
Media: 208 pp/paper
Published: 09/2019
Item No: 1299
ISBN: 978-1-62531-299-0
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Hashtag: #JeffZwiers


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Next Steps with Academic Conversations

Dr. Jeff Zwiers