The IQWST teacher guides provides teachers with the following tools that can assist them support class discussions: a) Support for the teacher in recognizing the structure of particular discussions; b) Specific questions and prompts, which are intended as possibilities, not as a script; c) Possible student responses and ways a teacher might respond to them; d) Ways to use student responses to assess understanding (formative assessment); d) Ways to support all students in learning their role in discussion, such as listening and responding to each other instead of only to the teacher.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
Teachers must provide support for students to learn what it means to participate in a discussion, and to learn new ways of interacting in science class. The IQWST developers identified five primary types of discussions employed across IQWST. Any particular discussion is likely to be composed of several of these types. Part of the job of moderating/facilitating discussion is to be aware of what type of discussion is “in play,” and being aware of the “rules of exchange” for each.
Context of Use:
The IQWST developers identified five primary types of discussions employed across IQWST. Any particular discussion is likely to be composed of several of these types. The five types are: a) Brainstorming, which involves sharing ideas without evaluating their validity; b) Summarizing, which involves recounting the main ideas from a reading assignment or an activity, or recapping what has been learned thus far; c) Connecting, which involves relating old information to new; d) Synthesizing, which involves putting ideas together, or assembling multiple activities into a coherent whole. It may also include generalizing from specific activities to a more general conclusion; and e) Pressing for understanding, which involves figuring things out or making sense of readings or activities, and may involve debate and challenge.