What is VBRR?

VBRR is a collaborative research and curriculum development project housed in the English teacher education program at Michigan State University (MSU) and affiliated with the Literacy Achievement Research Center at MSU. The project responds to a persistent problem we have encountered as teacher educators: Teacher candidates often see only a few models for designing classroom interactions, and many of them gain the most experience watching interactions that can best be characterized as "monologic": The teacher is the single authoritative voice in the classroom and students are expected to passively take in information rather than become actively engaged in talking about course content. Since this arrangement does not invite the diversity of student voices and experiences in the classroom to become resources for learning and engagement, we aspire to expand future teachers' repertoire of experiences to include more "dialogically organized classroom interactions." In such classrooms, the teacher's voice is not the sole authority; rather, students' voices are valued, encouraged, listened to, dissented with, and otherwise built upon.

To put it graphically, our project seeks to support teachers and teacher candidates in moving away from ...



monologue
toward...
dialogue
66324-monologue.gif
66324-monologue.gif


conversation.jpg
conversation.jpg






To accomplish this goal, we have turned to new media technologies, specifically video and web-based social networking resources, to invite teachers and teacher candidates into a recursive process that includes trying new (to them) ways of engaging students through dialogically organized classroom interaction, videotaping their efforts, sharing clips of those videos with small groups of colleagues, watching and responding (through writing, audio, or video) to their colleagues' videos, reflecting on what they learn as they review and respond to their own videos and the videos of three or four others, and transforming their developing practices in response to what they learn through engaging in this process. This website invites you to explore what we have learned, from the teachers we have partnered with, through this work.