What Does it Take to Respond to Student Thinking in the Moment?
Supporting Teacher Learning of Responsive Instructional Practices
Much of teaching is improvisational. While teachers can anticipate common misconceptions or the ideas that may emerge during instruction, they cannot plan for every interaction or question. Teachers must draw on their own expertise to respond to the specific student thinking that surfaces in daily classroom discussion. What does it take to respond to students thinking in productive ways, when doing so cannot be planned for in advance? How do we support teachers learning to respond so that they build on students’ thinking as it emerges? In this talk, we’ll explore the results of a study of elementary mathematics teachers learning to respond to their students’ thinking in the moment through an embedded professional development structure, side-by-side coaching. We’ll discuss the eight practices and dispositions teachers developed as they learned to respond to students’ thinking, and consider the implications for supporting teacher learning of responsiveness in other contexts.