Acting on evidence in discussion
Analyse this two page transcript [PDF] of dialogue from a lesson about photosynthesis with a Year 7 class (11-12 year olds). Use the following grouped questions to help you focus on different aspects of it.
Depending on the device you are using you may find it helpful to be able to switch between the grouped questions and the transcript or to have them visible side by side.
The lesson overall.
1. How does the teacher use the starter to set up thinking and discussion?
2. Which points does the teacher pick up on and ask for further clarification?
3. Which ideas does he push back to the class to think further on?
When the students start their practical later in the lesson, the teacher goes and talks with Richard and Dean. (Note that this discussion is not covered in the transcript.)
4. Why do you think he chose these students to talk to?
Next the teacher moves to work with the group that Jamie is in.
5. Why does he need to check on Jamie’s thinking?
6. What questions or points could the teacher have raised to probe Jamie’s developing understanding?
The teacher then goes to talk to Tariq’s group.
7. Why do you think he chooses Tariq to talk to?
8. What questions or points could the teacher have raised to probe Tariq’s developing understanding?
Finally the teacher moves to talk with a group who did not say anything in the classroom discussion at the start of the lesson.
9. Would you have taken similar action or would you, for example, change the order you discussed ideas with these groups?
Reflect on your analysis of the transcript.
Draw out some general ‘advice to self’ about how to elicit and then act on evidence in discussions of this kind, adapted to take account of the age range of your students and the subject(s) that you teach.
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