How does talk lead to learning?

Photograph of a boy talking

Talk promotes learning in any subject and is particularly critical in science.


  • provides a window into student thinking
  • boosts memory
  • supports language development
  • supports deeper reasoning and encourages students to reason with evidence
  • apprentices students into the social and intellectual practices of science
  • supports the development of social skills and encourages risk-taking with huge payoffs for learning

Science leans on explanations of the natural world that are validated by community, based on evidence from data and models. Primacy is given to given to logical reasoning from evidence and attention is paid to contradictory evidence as well as confirming evidence.

Inquiry Project students who use evidence from their investigations to support claims, or, for example, use contradictory evidence to challenge a peer’s claim, are generating their own classroom community-validated explanations. Through talking and listening, they are engage in scientific ways of knowing.