Prof Neil Mercer

Life Fellow

Neil Mercer, BSc (Manchester), MA (Cambridge), PhD (Leicester) is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Centre for Effective Spoken Communication at Hughes Hall. Before he joined Cambridge, he was Professor of Language and Communications at the Open University. He grew up in the Lake District and is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria.

A psychologist whose research has focused on the development of children’s spoken language and reasoning abilities and teachers’ role in that development, he has worked extensively and internationally with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers. In 2019 he was given the Oevre Award for outstanding contributions to educational research by the European Association for Research into Learning and Instruction.

Books authored
  1.  Common Knowledge: the development of joint understanding in the classroom (with Derek Edwards, 1987/2012).
  2.  The Guided Construction of Knowledge (1995).
  3.  Words and Minds: how we use language to think together (2000).
  4.  Thinking Together: a programme of activities for developing speaking, listening and thinking skills (with Lyn Dawes & Rupert Wegerif).
  5.  Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking (with Karen Littleton, 2007).
  6.  Interthinking: putting talk to work (with Karen Littleton, 2013).
A collection of his work has been published as  Language and the Joint Creation of Knowledge (Routledge, 2019), and his work has been translated into Spanish, Korean, Greek, Dutch, Portuguese, Arabic & Mandarin.
Other awards and appointments

Former Vice President and Life Fellow of the Cambridge college Hughes Hall
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria
Visiting Fellow of the English Language Institute of Singapore
Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review College
Former editor of the journals Learning and Instruction, the International Journal of Educational Research and Learning, Culture and Social Interaction.
Education policy advisor to various jurisdictions including England, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Wales.

Music
Outside academia, he has an active involvement with music and was musical director of the Living Archive community arts project in Milton Keynes. He plays the mandolin, guitar and other instruments (see links below).
Links
Presentations
Making the most of educational dialogue
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGmNJUeso6g
Talk may be cheap but groupwork is priceless
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC3AfFkLyi4
Twitter
@profneilmercer
Selected Recent Publications
Books
Chapters and reports
Journals
  •  Mercer, N., Hennessy, S. and Warwick, P. (2017). Dialogue, Thinking Together and digital technology in the classroom: Implications of a continuing line of inquiry for developing dialogic teaching practices. International Journal of Educational  Research, Volume 97, 2019, Pages 187-199.
  •  Mercer, N. & Warwick, P. (2017) Identifying and assessing students’ spoken language skills. Impact, 1, 15-17.
  •  Howe, C., Hennessy, S., Mercer, N. Vrikki, M. & Wheatley, L. (2019). Teacher-student dialogue during classroom teaching: Does it really impact upon student outcomes? Journal of the Learning Sciences, 28 (4-5), 462- 512.
  •  Johnson, M. & Mercer, N. (2019) Using sociocultural discourse analysis to analyse professional discourse. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 21, 267-277.
  •  Howe, C., Hennessy, S., Mercer, N. Vrikki, M. & Wheatley, L. (2019). Teacher-student dialogue during classroom teaching: Does it really impact upon student outcomes? Journal of the Learning Sciences, 28 (4-5), 462- 512.