Session 12: Discourse and Learning


In this session, participants enter a deeper discussion about learning and conversations and are specifically encouraged to reflect on the ways in which they communicate with learners. They read and discuss key ideas from the research literature on how people process information and how our brains make memories, and then they relate those findings to the critical importance of making opportunities for talk to support learning. Following this discussion, participants engage in a hands-on demonstration designed to set up the opportunity to analyze educator moves focused on teaching purposes and approaches to facilitating discussions. Finally, they apply their understanding of facilitation approaches to their practice, thinking about their teaching purposes and considering how they’ll allow for sharing multiple ideas while guiding learners to the normative scientific ideas. 


Argumentation– Build awareness of how argumentation deepens understanding of science ideas.
– Understand how to match learning goals with instructional decisions related to classroom discourse.
– Determine strategies for facilitating conversations that support learning.
– Discuss how explicit teaching purposes and consequent facilitation approaches influence how educators teach and communicate science to their learners. 
Learning and Teaching– Become familiar with patterns of talk and communication approaches.
– Discuss how the brain processes information and why talk is important in this process.

Leader Guide and Slides