July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
Noticing is an essential teaching practice that involves identifying salient aspects of classroom interactions, connecting those aspects to broader teaching principles, and using them to inform future instruction. Preservice teachers (PSTs) can develop their noticing practice by analyzing classroom teaching episodes. In this paper, we examine outcomes from using a series of activities—the Transcript Coding Assignment, a synchronous whole-class discussion, and an Identifying Strategies Assignment—to develop PSTs’ noticing practice within engineering education coursework. Activities were related to two 25-minute, video-recorded and transcribed discussions facilitated by two veteran teachers. These discussions were facilitated after students tested their initial designs and before they formally planned their second designs. These post-testing discussions were products of a prior study in which each teacher facilitated a small group discussion with five student avatars to support the students in working collaboratively to critique and revise each team’s initial ideas about design performance and improvement.
We focus on three features of these discussions, i.e., how teachers encourage students to: (1) engage with other teams about their designs, (2) talk about constraints, and (3) talk about criteria. We ask: What teacher prompts, questions, contributions, and strategies do PSTs notice with respect to each of these features within teachers’ discussions? We explored this question within two engineering education courses at two respective college institutions; 14 PSTs across those courses participated in the study. Data collected were PSTs’ independent coding of one teacher’s discussion transcript (the other was coded for the PSTs); a transcript of the synchronous class discussion within each course about what PSTs noticed about how the teachers addressed each feature; and PSTs’ written reflections about strategies these teachers used with respect to each feature.
Findings suggest that while most PSTs were able to notice two thirds or more of the instances of each feature in the teacher’s discussion transcript, they also associated non-examples with each feature (i.e., “over-coding” for the feature). Most especially, participants over-coded instances for Feature 1, linking many quotes to this feature even though the quotes did not encourage students to engage other teams about their designs; this finding was also evident in the synchronous discussion. In the Identifying Strategies assignment, PSTs collectively identified a total of 15 strategies that the teachers used with respect to the three features. The most frequently mentioned strategies for each feature were: having students call on a peer for critique or feedback (Feature 1), posing questions about whether constraints were met (Feature 2), and posing questions to particular students or teams about a criterion (Feature 3). Overall, the findings suggest that the assignments support PSTs in identifying prompts, questions, contributions, and strategies used by teachers in post-testing engineering discussions. However, more instructional attention may be necessary to help PSTs develop their ability to notice when and how teachers engage students in discussion with one another about their designs.
Lottero-Perdue, P. S., & Figueroa, M. A., & Mikeska, J. N., & Taylor, M. S. (2021, July), Preservice Teachers Noticing About Discussions to Support Students in Revising their Design Ideas (RTP) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37598
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