This course explores how teachers can capitalize on what students bring to the classroom - their ideas, perceptions, and misunderstandings - to advance the learning of all students in the class, a practice we call “leveraging student thinking”.
- eliciting student thinking
- attending to significant features of that thinking
- interpreting students' ideas within a developmental framework
- bridging from students' current understandings to more sophisticated understandings
* We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for their support of the research on which this course is based and the preparation of the materials found here: "Linking Teacher Preparation to Student Learning in Mathematics and Science", National Science Foundation, Award ID 0554486.
Lesson 1: Eliciting Student Thinking at the Core (available on August 19)
Goal: Design a better task -- i.e., one that will more effectively get students’ thinking on the table.
• What does it mean to leverage student thinking?
• Why is leveraging student thinking educative?
• How can you design tasks to more effectively elicit student thinking and make students' understandings more visible?
- Design a task to effectively elicit student thinking.
- Complete survey.
Goal: Locate your students' thinking (elicited in assignment #2) within a developmental framework.
- What’s the developmental trajectory that links students' current understandings of particular concepts to more sophisticated understandings?
- What does it mean to locate student thinking within a trajectory of development?
- Sort the student work you collected from least to most sophisticated. On what basis are you making this judgement?
- Conduct a clinical interview with one or more of your students about a concept in your subject area and hypothesize how those students' understanding might build over time "in the direction of what the expert already knows."*
Goal: Use talk and representational tools to “take up” student thinking in ways that advance the understandings of all students.
- How do teachers use student thinking to build important ideas and understandings?
- Analyze a video excerpt for the moves made by the teacher and students to build students' understandings.
- Videotape/audiotape a lesson in your classroom, and, with a peer, analyze the moves you and your students make to build understanding.
Goal: Identify personal & professional challenges of leveraging practice (based on attempting, and reflecting critically on that attempt to leverage), and sketch a plan for your development of this practice.
- How and why is the diversity of student ideas and understandings a resource for leveraging? In other words, how can diversity of ideas propel learning?
- What are the challenges or “pressure points” that impede the practice of leveraging in general?
- What can you do to develop this practice in your teaching context?
- Teach, videotape/audiotape, and reflect on a lesson in which you focus on building from and through students’ ideas.
- Develop an action plan with your partner to develop your skills in leveraging student thinking
- Submit action plan as a peer assessment and assess the work of three of your peers.
- Barbara Stengel - Teaching and Learning
- Marcy Singer-Gabella - Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College of Education and Human Development