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Facilitating Productive Discussions About Chemistry in the Classroom

WEBINAR (62 minutes) recorded November 13, 2019


When teachers engage in classroom discourse, student ideas flow quickly. Students share a wide variety of conceptions about chemistry, and teachers need to make quick, in the moment decisions to respond. What should teachers do next in order to make productive use of what students share in order to move their students understanding of chemistry forward?

During this webinar, five experienced chemistry educators will share research-based strategies to enhance participants' purposeful decision making during classroom discussions with their students. Participants will view videos of experienced teachers facilitating productive discussions about chemistry with their classes, and will be led through the purposeful moves that the teachers made in order to make them so. Some teacher moves in the videos display teachers deciding to elicit further student ideas in response to what they notice their students sharing. These eliciting moves may be narrowing acts that probe a specific piece of chemistry, or opening acts that draw out more student ideas. Other teacher moves displayed in the classroom videos show teachers advancing their students thinking. During these acts, the teacher may direct their students thinking towards a particular curricular aim, or may guide the discussion responsively towards the science story that their class has put forth.

By completing this webinar, participants will enhance their ability to employ these eliciting and advancing teacher moves in a purposeful fashion to strengthen their students understanding of chemistry in their own classrooms.