Table of Contents

Discourse and Learning in Math and Science Classrooms

This is a course I'm auditing at UC Berkeley (spring 2012), and is being taught by Professor Randi A. Engle.

Readings I've done for this course

  • Titles in <fc #008000>green font</fc> are MUST READS!
  • any titles noted as being <fc #FF0000>“a foundational piece”</fc> are DEFINITELY MUST READS!

A. Foundational Readings About Discourse, Part I: Interaction

Week 1 (Jan. 26): Grounding theory and its applications to educational discourse

  • Theory paper: Contributing to Discourse (Clark & Schaefer, 1989Clark, H. H., & Schaefer, E. F. (1989). Contributing to discourse. Cognitive science, 13(2), 259--294. Elsevier.)
  • Math application paper: Achieving Coordination in Collaborative Problem-Solving Groups (Barron, 2000Barron, B. (2000). Achieving coordination in collaborative problem-solving groups. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 9(4), 403--436. Taylor & Francis.)
  • Grounding in communication (Clark & Brennan, 1991Clark, H. H., & Brennan, S. E. (1991). Grounding in communication. Perspectives on socially shared cognition, 13(1991), 127--149.)
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>

Focuses on how grounding changes depending on medium and purpose. Very relevant for those interested in technology-mediated communication or for thinking about how interactions change depending on what people are trying to do together.

Week 2 (Feb. 2): Discourse processing and learning from texts

  • Theory paper: Situation models in language comprehension and memory (Zwaan & Radvansky, 1998Zwaan, R. A., & Radvansky, G. A. (1998). Situation models in language comprehension and memory. Psychological bulletin, 123(2), 162. American Psychological Association.)
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
  • Theory + Science application paper: Self-explaining expository texts: The dual processes of generating inferences and repairing mental models (Chi, 2000Chi, M. T. H. (2000). Self-explaining expository texts: The dual processes of generating inferences and repairing mental models. In R. Glaser (Ed.), (Tran.), Advances in instructional psychology (161-238). Mahwah: Erlbaum.)

This work has been highly influential in education, with this paper the capstone piece about this research. The paper doesn’t directly refer to Zwaan & Radvansky, but there are interesting parallels and contrasts to be drawn between them.

Week 3 (Feb. 9): Approaches from pragmatics: Face-threatening acts and implicatures

  • Theory paper: Universals in language usage: Politeness phenomena (Brown & Levinson, 1978Brown, P., & Levinson, S. (1978). Universals in language usage: Politeness phenomena. In E. N. Goody (Ed.), (Tran.), Questions and politeness: Strategies in social interaction (56-99, 107, 136, 219). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)
  • Theory paper: Logic and conversation (Grice, 1967Grice, H. P. (1967). Logic and conversation. In P. Grice (Ed.), (Tran.), Studies in the ways of words (22-40). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.)
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
  • Application paper: Pragmatics and pedagogy: Conversational rules and politeness strategies may inhibit effective tutoring (Person, Kreuz, Zwaan, Graesser; 1995)

Explicitly builds upon the pragmatics theories above.

Week 4 (Feb. 16): Gumperz’ interactional sociolinguistics + responding to others’ thinkpieces

  • Theory paper: Contextualization and understanding (Gumperz, 1992Gumperz, J. J. (1992). Contextualization and understanding. In C. Duranti A.; Goodwin (Ed.), (Tran.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon (229-252). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ Press.)
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
  • Science Application paper: Common task and uncommon knowledge: Dissenting voices in the discursive construction of physics across small laboratory groups (Kelly, Crawford & Green, 2001Kelly, G., Crawford, T., & Green, J. (2001). Common task and uncommon knowledge: Dissenting voices in the discursive construction of physics across small laboratory groups. Linguistics and Education, 12(92), 135-174. Elsevier.)

B. Research About Discourse Structures, Especially in Classrooms

Week 5 (Feb. 23): Different perspectives on the ever-present and oft-discussed IRE/IRF/ triarchic/recitation-style lesson structure

  • Theory paper: <fc #008000>The structure of classroom lessons (Mehan, 1979Mehan, H. (1979). Learning lessons: Social organization in the classroom. In . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.) </fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>

Still, one of the most influential studies of classroom discourse that everyone needs to know about to be considered part of this research community.

  • Theory paper: <fc #008000>What’s the use of ‘triadic dialogue’? An investigation of teacher-student interaction (Nassaji & Wells, 2000)</fc>

These and other Gordon Wells’ pieces have emphasized the multiple functions to which IRE discourse structures can be put, contesting usual assumptions that IRE discourse is inherently limiting in a negative way for learning.

  • Math Application paper: To disagree, we must also agree: How intersubjectivity structures and perpetuates discourse in a mathematics classroom (Nathan, Eilam & Kim; 2007)

This directly builds upon IRE, Conversation Analysis, Clark, Gee, and indirectly on politeness.

Week 6 (Mar. 1): Participation/participant structures/frameworks that go beyond IRE (Initiation-Reply-Evaluation)

  • Theory & math application paper: <fc #008000>Classroom discourse as improvisation: Relationships between academic task structure and social participation structure in lessons (Erickson, 1982Erickson, F. (1982). Classroom discourse as improvisation: Relationships between academic task structure and social participation structure in lessons. In L. C. Wilkinson (Ed.), (Tran.), Communicating in the Classroom (153-181). New York, NY: Academic Press.))</fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
  • Theory paper: <fc #008000>Shifting participant frameworks: Orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion (O’Connor & Michaels, 1996O’Connor, M. C., & Michaels, S. (1996). Shifting participant frameworks: Orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion. In D. Hicks (Ed.), (Tran.), Discourse, Learning, and Schooling (63-103). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.)</fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
    • my first encounter with the concept of REVOICING
  • Science application paper: Inquiry in interaction: How local adaptations of curricula shape classroom communities (Enyedy & Goldberg, 2004Enyedy, N., & Goldberg, J. (2004). Inquiry in interaction: How local adaptations of curricula shape classroom communities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(9), 905-935. Wiley Online Library.)

Builds on both Erickson and mildly on O’Connor & Michaels to compare two science classrooms in terms of discourse norms as well as ways in which the teachers help to dynamically structure the interactions.

Week 7 (Mar. 8): Classroom discourse from a Bakhtinian perspective building on Vygotsky

  • Theory paper: <fc #008000>Continuing the dialogue: Vygotsky, Bakhtin & Lotman (Wertsch & Smolka, 1994Wertsch, J. V., & Smolka, A. L. B. (1994). Continuing the dialogue: Vygotsky, Bakhtin & Lotman. In H. Daniels (Ed.), (Tran.), Charting the agenda: Educational activity after Vygotsky (69-92). London: Routledge.)</fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
  • Science application paper: <fc #008000>The tension between authoritative and dialogic discourse: A fundamental characteristic of meaning making interactions in high school science lessons (Scott, Mortimer & Aguiar, 2006Scott, P. H., Mortimer, E. F., & Aguiar, O. G. (2006). The tension between authoritative and dialogic discourse: A fundamental characteristic of meaning making interactions in high school science lessons. Science Education, 90(4), 605-631. Wiley Online Library.)</fc>
    • consider using this analytical framework on my own research data

Builds on Bakhtin, Wertsch and also Gumperz as well as my work

  • Science application paper: Power in the classroom: How the classroom environment shapes students’ relationships with each other and with concepts (Cornelius & Herrenkohl, 2004Cornelius, L. L., & Herrenkohl, L. R. (2004). Power in the classroom: How the classroom environment shapes students' relationships with each other and with concepts. Cognition and Instruction, 22(4), 467-498. Taylor & Francis.)

Builds on Wertsch’s simultaneously Vygotskian and Bakhtinian perspective. Plus some Cohen on groupwork.

C. Synthesizing Our Progress So Far and Planning Course Papers

Week 8 (Mar. 15): Discussion of thinkpieces and proposed projects

  • Review paper: <fc #008000>Discourse, Learning, and Teaching (Hicks, 1995Hicks, D. (1995). Discourse, learning, and teaching. Review of research in education, 21, 49–95. JSTOR.)</fc>
  • Review paper: Reflections on Practice, Teaching/Learning, Video, and Theorizing (Erickson, 2011Erickson, F. (2011). Reflections on Practice, Teaching/Learning, Video, and Theorizing. Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice, 385–402. Springer.)

Week 9 (Mar. 22): Analysis of three review articles to compare how you are putting the field together so far with how others have synthesized it as well as to find additional references that are relevant to your projects

  • Theory paper: Role of Positioning: The role of positioning in constructing an identity in a third grade mathematics classroom (Yamakawa, Forman & Ansell, 2005Yamakawa, Y., Forman, E., & Ansell, E. (2005). Role of Positioning: The role of positioning in constructing an identity in a third grade mathematics classroom. In K. Kumpulainen, C. E. Hmelo-Silver & M. Cesar (Eds.), (Tran.), Investigating Classroom Interaction: Methodologies in Action (179-201). Sense Publishers.)
  • Theory paper: Students’ Meaning-making of Socio-scientific Issues in Computer Mediated Settings: Exploring learning through interaction trajectories (Furberg & Ludvigsen, 2008Furberg, A., & Ludvigsen, S. (2008). Students’ Meaning-making of Socio-scientific Issues in Computer Mediated Settings: Exploring learning through interaction trajectories. International Journal of Science Education, 30(13), 1775–1799. Taylor &Francis.)

D. Making Progress on Course Projects While Group Discusses Last Major Readings

Week 10 (Apr. 5): Discourse Work Arising Within Hybrid Theories in Math and Science Education, Part I

  • Theory paper: <fc #008000>Discourse patterns and collaborative scientific reasoning in peer and teacher-guided discussions (Hogan, Nastasi & Pressley, 1999Hogan, K., Nastasi, B. K., & Pressley, M. (1999). Discourse patterns and collaborative scientific reasoning in peer and teacher-guided discussions. Cognition and instruction, 17(4), 379–432. Taylor &Francis.)</fc>

One of the most complex and sophisticated set of interlocking codings of classroom discourse that I’ve ever seen. Hard to fully digest in one reading, but there are tons of coding schemes here that could be adapted to other studies.

Week 11 (Apr. 12): Discourse Work Arising Within Hybrid Theories in Math and Science Education, Part II

Health willing, I will be gone this day at a pre-conference workshop on interaction analysis and knowledge analysis at AERA so it’s time to read my stuff so you can critique as needed without worries!

  • Theory & science application paper: <fc #008000>Guiding principles for fostering productive disciplinary engagement: Explaining an emergent argument in a community of learners classroom (Engle & Conant, 2002Engle, R. A., & Conant, F. R. (2002). Guiding principles for fostering productive disciplinary engagement: Explaining an emergent argument in a community of learners classroom. Cognition and Instruction, 20(4), 399–483. Inc. lawrence Erlbaum Associates.)</fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
    • Engle & Conant define the 4 guiding principles that foster their notion of “Productive Disciplinary Engagement”
  • Theory & science application paper: <fc #008000>Toward an interactional model of differential influence in persuasive discussions: Negotiating quality, authority, and access within student-led discussions (Engle, Langer-Osuna & Royston, 2012Engle, R. A., Langer-Osuna, J. M., & Royston, M. Mk. de. (2012). Toward an Interactional Model of Influence in Persuasive Discussions: Negotiating Quality, Authority, and Access Within Student-Led Arguments. Cognition and Instruction.)</fc>
    • <fc #FF0000>a foundational piece</fc>
    • Engle, Langer-Osuna & McKinney de Royston propose a new framework for constructing explanatory models of influence in student discussions

Week 12 (Apr. 19): New Theories: Greeno’s Situative Framework and Responses To It

  • Core article (theory & math application): <fc #008000>A situative perspective on cognition and learning in interaction</fc> (Greeno, 2011Greeno, J. G. (2011). A Situative Perspective on Cognition and Learning in Interaction. In T. Koschmann (Ed.), (Tran.), Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice (Vol. 1, 41–71). Springer Science+Business Media.)
    • puts forward a new analytic framework that has 4 progressive levels of analysis of 'cognition in activity'
  • Response to core article (math application): Representational competence: A commentary on the Greeno analysis of classroom practice (Collins, 2011Collins, A. (2011). Representational Competence: A Commentary on the Greeno Analysis of Classroom Practice. In T. Koschmann (Ed.), (Tran.), Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice (Vol. 1, 105–111). Springer Science+Business Media.)

This commentary comes from a well-respected cognitive and learning scientist.

  • Response to the commentaries (Greeno, 2011Greeno, J. G. (2011). Responses to the Commentaries. In T. Koschmann (Ed.), (Tran.), Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice (Vol. 1, 139–150). Springer Science+Business Media.)

Week 13 (Apr. 26): New Theories: Sfard’s Commognitive Framework and Reviews of It

  • Core article: <fc #008000>When the rules of discourse change, but nobody tells you: Making sense of mathematics learning from a commognitive standpoint (Sfard, 2007Sfard, A. (2007). When the rules of discourse change, but nobody tells you: Making sense of mathematics learning from a commognitive standpoint. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 16(4), 565–613. Inc. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.)</fc>
    • puts forward her “commognitive framework”
  • Review: Learning to mean mathematically (Lemke, 2009Lemke, J. L. (2009). Learning to Mean Mathematically. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 16(3), 281-284. Taylor &Francis.)
  • Review: Book review: Purifying the dialect of the tribe (Wing, 2011)

Additional Supplementary Readings on Other Discourse & Learning Topics

Argumentation Theory and Its Developments

[this list currently focuses on science, but can be enhanced to include more math by selected literature on mathematical proof, explanation & justification]

If one is studying argumentation, especially in science, one needs to either draw on Toulmin’s framework or explain why one is not doing so:

  • Toulmin, S. (1958/2003) The uses of argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Will read relevant excerpts of this classic.

  • Driver, R., Newton, P., & Osborne, J. (2000). Establishing the norms of scientific argumentation in classrooms. Science Education, 84(3), 287-312. [26 pages]
  • Erduran, S., Simon, S., & Osborne, J. (2004). TAPping into argumentation: Developments in the application of Toulmin's argument pattern for studying science discourse. Science Education, 88(6), 915-933. [19 pages]
  • Jimenez-Aleixandre, M. P., Rodriguez, A. B., & Duschl, R. A. (2000). “Doing the lesson” or “doing science”: Argument in high school genetics. Science Education, 84(6), 757-792. [46 pages]

A new view of argumentation building on grounding theory:

  • Lascarides, A. & Asher, N. (2009). Agreement, disputes & commitment in dialogue. Journal of Semantics, 76. 109-138.

An alternative dialectical approach, theory piece followed by application to education:

  • Walton, D. (2007). Dialog theory for critical argumentation. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
  • Nussbaum, E. M. & Edwards, O. V. (2011). <fc #008000>Critical questions and argument stratagems: A framework for enhancing and analyzing students’ reasoning practices</fc>. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(3), 443-488. (Nussbaum & Edwards, 2011Nussbaum, E. M., & Edwards, O. V. (2011). Critical questions and argument stratagems: A framework for enhancing and analyzing students’ reasoning practices. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(3), 443–488. Taylor &Francis.)
    • new critical question approach to argumentation
    • This paper has design implications for Common Knowledge, and is making me think about the possibility of visualizing and/or scripting critical questions and argument stratagems into CK. Their “argumentation vee diagram” (AVD) is a helpful scaffolding tool

Designing learning environments to support argumentation:

  • Andriessen, J. E. B. & Schwarz, B. (2009). Argumentative design. In N. M. Mirza & A. N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.), Argumentation and education: Theoretical foundations and practices (145-174). New York: Springer. [30 pages, S]
  • Berland, L. K. and Reiser, B. J. (2009), Making sense of argumentation and explanation. Science Education, 93, 26–55. [30 pages, S]
  • Sampson, V. & Clark, D. B. (2009). A comparison of the collaborative scientific argumentation practices of two high and two low performing groups. Research in Science Education,41, 63-97. [35 pages, S]

Check out its coding methods.

Multimodal Discourse From Multiple Perspectives

  • Ainsworth, S. (1999). DeFT: A conceptual framework for considering learning with multiple representations. Learning and Instruction, 16(3), 183-198.
  • Alibali, M. W. & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1993). Gesture-speech mismatch and mechanisms of learning: What the hands reveal about a child’s state of mind. Cognitive Psychology, 25(4), 468-523.
  • Clark, H. H. (1996). Chapter 6: Signaling. In Using language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

This work draws on Peirce’s semiotic distinctions between icons, indexes and symbols.

  • Goodwin, C. (2000). Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 32(10), 1489-1522.
  • Koschmann, T. & LeBaron, C. (2002). Learner articulation as interactional achievement: Studying the conversation of gesture. Cognition and Instruction, 20(2), 249-282.
  • Lascarides, A. & Stone, M. (2009). A formal semantic analysis of gesture. Journal of Semantics, 26, 393-449. [57 pages]
  • Leander, K. M. (2002). Silencing in classroom interaction: Producing and relating social spaces. Discourse Processes, 34(2), 193-235.
  • Lehrer, R., Schauble, L., Carpenter, S. & Penner, D. (2000). The interrelated development of inscriptions and conceptual understanding. In P. Cobb, E. Yackel & K. McClain (Eds.), Symbolizing and communicating in mathematics classrooms: Perspectives on discourse, tools, instructional design (pp. 325-360). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Lemke , J. (2000). Multimedia literacy demands of the scientific curriculum. Linguistics and Education, 10(3), 247-271.
  • Moreno, R. & Mayer, R. E. (1999). Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 358-368.
  • Tanenhaus, M. K., Spivey-Knowlton, M. J., Eberhardt, K. M., Sedivy, J. C. (1995). Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension. Science, 268(5217), 1632-1634.

From the discourse processing tradition, with some nods to Clark.

And many more…

Teacher Education and Professional Development Around Classroom Discourse

This is a huge and growing literature within every subject-matter specialization in education. Here are just a few current articles, with a focus on mathematics.

  • Brendefur, J. & Frykholm, J. (2000). Prompting mathematical communication in the classroom: Two preservice teachers’ conceptions and practices. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 3, 125-153.
  • Lampert, M. (2001). Teaching while leading a whole-class discussion. In Teaching with problems and the problems of teaching.
  • Nathan, M. J. & Knuth, E. J. (2003). A study of whole classroom mathematical discourse and teacher change. Cognition and Instruction,21(2), 175-207.
  • Stein, M. K., Engle, R. A., Smith, M. S. & Hughes, E. F. (2008). Orchestrating productive mathematical discussions: Five practices for helping teachers move beyond show and tell. Mathematical Thinking and Learning.

Critical Discourse Analysis

  • Luke, A. (1995-1996). Text and discourse in education: An introduction to critical discourse analysis. Review of Research in Education, 21, 3-48. [44 pages]

Collaborative, Cooperative and Other Small Group Learning

A whole course (or two) could be offered on this! Happy to share key readings if you’re interested.

Numerous other theories/topics as well (positioning theory/identity, framing, Conversation Analysis, bilingualism, second language learners, etc., etc.)…

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