What is a conversation in SciTalk?
On this website we primarily employ the term conversation instead of talk or dialogue. As we have seen, conversation is defined as informal talk in a situation between two or more participants.
The conversations we promote are situated in an educational setting, and thus have some formal features. Our main interest is, for example, a setting where an adult is having a conversation with one or several children.
We focus on your role as an adult in these conversations, but not because we are interested in the adult’s contributions per se. Our focus is on how educational training can allow us to improve at making utterances or giving good responses to children’s contributions that can promote the children’s interest, experience, joy and learning about topics in the natural sciences.
In the conversation there will be differences in the way an adult and a child approach a natural phenomenon, how they interpret and relate the phenomenon to previous experiences and to the knowledge they have about it. In brief, there are differences in their epistemic status. The fact that there are differences in epistemic status and vocabulary between adult and child is obvious. But it is important to increase the awareness of how these differences influence your attempt to become a better conversation partner for the child in their efforts to acquire words and concepts for their experiences with different phenomena in nature.
On this website we focus on exploratory everyday conversations.