The Study of Classroom Discourse: Early History and Current Developments Hugh (Bud) Mehan and Courtney B. Cazden (Paper prepared for presentation at the 2013 AERA Conference) Learning Lessons (Mehan 1979) reported one of the earliest qualitative studies of classroom discourse. The study described the basic structures of classroom lessons (Instruction-Reply-Evaluation and Extended Sequences), the turn-taking procedures that teachers deploy to maintain the flow of classroom discourse, and the skills that students’ acquire—often implicitly—in order to contribute as competent members of the classroom community. That study was the product of a unique collaboration between two university researchers: Courtney Cazden, who returned to a primary classroom for one year (1974-5) as the teacher, and Hugh (Bud) Mehan, who observed and analyzed her teaching and wrote the book. In this paper, we describe the origins and purposes of the Cazden-Mehan collaboration, the basic structure of classroom lessons, and recent developments in the study of classroom discourse that have blossomed since that time. It was originally presented as an oral conversation at the 2011 conference now converted into a book, and we will retain some of the first-person informality, mostly in the plural we but occasionally as a separate I for either Cazden or Mehan as indicated. How The Project Started We met first in a summer-long SSRC Conference on “Language, Society, and the Child” at UC Berkeley in the Summer of 1968, coming there with different intellectual biographies. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 2 2/6/16 Cazden: I started out as a public school teacher in a working class neighborhood in Connecticut (1954-1961). My first and second grade students came from stable families— white, African American, Puerto Rican—whose fathers had good blue-collar factory jobs. Our elementary school functioned well, but other teachers and I wondered why so many of our elementary school graduates ended up in the lowest high school tracks. Especially in the post-Sputnik urgency about school achievement, public voices suggested that students’ language, especially Black dialect, might be part of the problem. Intrigued by such claims, I entered a doctoral program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in 1961 and became excited by new developments in cognitive psychology and linguistics in Cambridge at that time. I participated for several years in Roger Brown’s pioneering longitudinal study of the language development of three young children: two from graduate student families and one whose parents had only high school education (Brown 1973). By the early 1970’s, now on the HGSE faculty, I wanted to see if my primary school teaching would be different, now informed by my new understanding of language development. So I asked Bud Mehan if he could arrange a teaching assignment in a working-class elementary school, and if he would be interested in documenting my teaching. Mehan: At the time of Courtney’s request, I was directing the teacher education program at UC San Diego and was able to arrange for her to teach in a primary-grade classroom in the urban core of San Diego for the 1974-95 academic year. Her combined first, second, and third grade classroom was composed of Latino and African American students referred to her by other teachers at the school. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 3 2/6/16 I approached the prospect of documenting Cazden’s classroom instruction from an amalgamation of academic orientations. Trained as a sociologist with a specialization in ethnomethodology (Mehan & Wood 1975), I focused on the social practices that constituted such educational facts as special education students, ability groupings, and tracking systems. This constructivist orientation in sociology was reinforced by concurrent developments in linguistics, anthropology, and psychology. While it dominated the field of linguistics, Chomsky’s theory of competence was challenged by Shuy et al. (1967), Gumperz (1971), Labov 1972, Cazden et al. (1972), Erwin-Tripp (1972), Hymes (1974), and other psycholinguists and sociolinguists for neglecting the social origins and functions of language. Their studies of “communicative competence” were echoed by anthropologists such as Frake (1964) and Goodenough (1964) who framed culture in terms of participation or membership in a society—what one has to know, believe, and especially do, in order to operate in a manner that is acceptable to the members of a community or a society. I wanted to extend that logic to the classroom, asking: “what do students have to do in order to be seen as competent members of the classroom community?” I hoped to answer that question by examining Courtney’s interactions with the students in her classroom. Thus, our interests coalesced in this collaborative project, and we were both energized by a shared concern for educational equity. Deficit theories were prevalent ways of explaining the gap in academic achievement among blacks and whites. In the biologically-based version of deficit thinking (e. g. Jensen 1969), black youth were portrayed as cognitively inferior to their white counterparts because of racial differences. In the culturally-based version (e. g., Deutsch et al 1968), the “inferior” speech and Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 4 2/6/16 thought of low-income black and Latino youth were blamed on their families’ cultural practices. We hoped that a study of classroom discourse might provide an opportunity to examine, and perhaps challenge, such deficit thinking. Videotape played a central role in this study. It has become common for researchers to extract quotes or strings of utterances from audio- or videotape. But this study was among the first to use videotape as a tool to study the social organization of complete events in educational settings, such as classroom lessons, testing sessions, counseling sessions.1 We videotaped the first hour of school activities everyday for the first week of school and one hour a day approximately every third week until April. This schedule was influenced by a combination of practical circumstances and theoretical interests. The onehour unit of analysis was selected because videotape for the portable studio equipment we had available was one hour long. The first hour of the day was chosen because of our theoretical interests in the skills that students must deploy in order to be competent members of the classroom community. The day usually began with students being served snacks and informally interacting at their desks. Then the students were assembled on the rug to hear the schedule of the day, join in “show and tell.” The first hour was concluded with the class either instructed as a whole or divided into small groups for instruction in math and language arts. This procedure produced a corpus of materials with nine instances of a similar event. 1 For other early studies, see for example, Cicourel et al. 1974; Mishler 1975; Sinclair & Coulthard 1975, McDermott 1976; McDermott et al. 1978, Erickson & Shultz 1978, Shuy & Griffin 1978, Gumperz & Herasimchuk 1972, Cole et al. 1978. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 5 2/6/16 The Structure of Classroom Lessons Teacher-led lessons are the most prevalent form of events that occur regularly in classrooms. (Others include individual instructional time, sharing time, small collaborative groups, presentations of learning, laboratory experiments.) Classroom lessons have unique organizational features that distinguish them from other classroom events and from ordinary conversations that occur outside of classrooms. Example #1 Initiation Reply Evaluation T: And whose is this? Many: Veronica T: Oh, a lot of people knew that one T: Whose name is this? L: Mercedes T: “Mercedes,” all right This exchange from a lesson Courtney taught early in the school year when children were still learning their classmates’ names illustrates one of the most salient features of classroom lessons: they are organized in three-part sequences. A teacher’s initiation act induces a student’s reply, which in turn invokes a teacher’s evaluation. Classroom lessons tend to be teacher centered and require students to respond, often individually, with student behavior evaluated quite publicly. Evaluations are more likely to occur in classroom interactions than in other situations in everyday life. Consider these two hypothetical exchanges: Example #2 Example #3 Speaker #1: What time is it, Denise? Speaker #1: What time is it, Denise? Speaker #2: 10:30 Speaker #2: 10:30 Speaker #1: Very good, Denise! Speaker #1: Thank you, Denise Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 6 2/6/16 It would be unusual for example #2 to occur in everyday conversation, because in everyday conversation, speakers routinely ask questions in order to obtain information they do not possess (“information seeking questions”), identify the next speaker who is someone who presumably possesses that information, and acknowledge or thank them for their trouble (“acknowledgement”). The presence of an evaluation, which comments on a student’s reply to a question, is one of the features that distinguishes conversations that take place in classrooms and other educational settings (such as tests), from those that occur in everyday situations. The three-part Initiation-Reply-Evaluation (I-R-E) structure exists in large part because of the “language game” (Wittgenstein 1953) organized by the teacher. In the “recitation language game,” the teacher begins a sequence looking for a simple, preferred answer, the student responds (with a short answer), and the teacher evaluates the answer as correct or not. The third part in the IRE sequence is crucial one for controlling the flow of interaction in the recitation script. This is the place where the correctness or incorrectness of a student’s reply is established. If confusion or unintelligibility is not cleared up, then it’s assumed that the student’s reply was acceptable. In the recitation game, teachers often ask “known information questions” (Sinclair & Coulthard 1975; Shuy & Griffin 1978; Mehan 1979) in which the teacher typically knows the answer before hand. Not all teacher-led initiation acts test students’ previously acquired knowledge, however. In another class of initiation acts, teachers seek new information, ask students for their opinions, or interpretations. When “information seeking questions” are introduced into classroom lessons, much longer, or extended sequences of interaction often transpire. Because the teacher seeks information from students that s/he Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 7 2/6/16 doesn’t know in advance, lessons can proceed in unexpected directions, as this exchange between Cazden and her students illustrate. In a lesson designed to elicit information about students’ birthplaces and locate them on a large map of the US and northern Mexico, the following exchanges were about the birthplaces of Prenda and then her parents: Example #4 Initiation Reply Evaluation T: Where were you born, Prenda? Prenda: San Diego T: You were born in San Diego, all right. T: Can you come up and find San Diego on the map? (P goes to map and points) T: Right there, okay That is the end of one short IRE sequence. When the topic then shifts to Prenda’s mother, a more extended sequence develops: Initiation Reply Evaluation T: Now, where did your mother come from? P: Oh, Arkansas T: Okay T: I did point out Arkansas on the map yesterday // T: Can you – do you know where it is, Prenda? T: How did you come -– how did you know that? P: //I know where Arkansas is (P goes to the map and points) P: Cause I // C: this morning// P: Carolyn told me where Arkansas was T: Carolyn, how did you T: Yeah, good for you T: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I couldn’t hear what Prenda said Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT remember where Arkansas was? 8 2/6/16 C: ‘Cuz all three of the grandmothers—Miss Coles said it started with an A, and I said “There” (pointing). P: Little Rock T: Yes, I thought maybe you remem-because you mentioned Little Rock yesterday. Okay, we’ll put a green card for your mother or father there P: My father wasn’t born there At this point in the lesson, a new extended sequence about Prenda’s father is begun, this time about who traveled farther to San Diego: Prenda’s mother from Arkansas, or her father from “Baltimore, Maryland.” Both basic and extended sequences are interactional in being jointly produced by teacher with students. They are sequential in that Replies routinely follow Initiations and Evaluations routinely follow the InitiationReply pair. Other studies of classroom discourse in industrialized nations have reported the prevalence of the IRE sequence. These include North America, Britain, Europe, New Zealand and Australia (Sinclair & Coulthard 1975; Malcolm 1979). In addition, studies of societies with colonial legacies also demonstrate evidence of the IRE sequence within classrooms. Some of these societies include Tibuai (Levin 1978), those portions of Western Australia that consist of a high percentage of Aboriginal Australians (Malcolm 1979), Puerto Rico (McCollum (1989), and Papua New Guinea (Miller 1981). Native students attending schools in former colonies for the first time often encounter linguistic and structural differences between the language used in the classroom and the home—a Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 9 2/6/16 discontinuity that seems to interfere with their learning. Cross-Cultural Variations and Educational Recommendations Students of language use in homes and schools have suggested that classroom lessons may be compatible with the discourse patterns in Anglo families but may be incompatible with the discourse patterns of certain minority group families. This discontinuity, in turn, may contribute to the lower achievement in US schools among students from African American, Hawaiian American, Native American, and Latino backgrounds. Variations on the “default condition” of short IRE sequences (Cazden & Mehan 1989) have been recorded in a variety of settings, often with students and teachers from cultural groupings that differ from the mainstream.2 We illustrate these variations, calling upon studies that analyze videotape and transcript materials from complete classroom lessons. Au & Jordan (1981) show that a Polynesian teacher used discourse techniques that differ from the basic I-R-E sequence when teaching Native Hawaiian students in the Kamehameha Early Education Program (KEEP). In the introductory part of a lesson, designed to elicit students’ knowledge about frogs before students were invited to read passages from a book about frogs, the following exchanges occurred when the teacher asked “what would you do with a frog if you captured it:” 2 For example, Erickson & Mohatt (1982), Philips (1983), Vogt et al. (1987), McCarty et al. (1991) report variations on the IRE sequence in classrooms composed of Native American students. Laosa (1982), Losey (1995), Trueba (1983), Delgado-Gaitan (1987), and Gutierrez et al. (1999) document variations in classes composed of Mexican American students. Au (1980), Au & Jordan (1981), and Tharp & Gallimore (1988) reveal variations in classrooms composed of Native Hawaiian students. Michaels (1981), Heath (1983), Foster (1989), and Lee (1995) report variations in classrooms composed of African American students. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 10 2/6/16 Example #53 Initiation Reply T: What would you do with it? V: Feed it S: Put it in a pond T: Lets think if we would do anything else with it. What would you do, Cyndy? What would you do if you had a frog? T: You can eat frog, can’t you? T: Oh, you would put it in a pond. Okay A: I would poke the legs C: You could put It in a bucket T: What would you do with it? Evaluation A: You could eat the legs A: Yuck T: Shh. You would put it in a bucket. Okay, that’s something different T: Okay. Cyndy might even eat it. Good A: Yeah, the legs This teacher, like Courtney in the “birthplaces lesson,” is asking information seeking questions. She does not know before hand what her students propose to do with a captured frog. Note also that she explicitly asks for a range of answers (“Lets think if we would do anything else with it”) and more than one student answers the teacher’s questions before she evaluates their responses. Even when she identified Cyndy to be the only student to respond, she received a range of different answers—from benign and helpful (“feed it” “put it in a pond,” “put it in a bucket” to more mischievous (“poke the legs”). Researchers associated with KEEP point out these discourse features, especially those that enable students to assemble answers jointly, are consistent with discourse 3 The conventions used by the authors to display transcripts in the original publications have been simplified for ease of reading in examples 5 and 6. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 11 2/6/16 patterns in Native Hawaiian communities (Au 1980; Au & Jordan 1981; Tharp & Gallimore (1988). Erickson & Mohatt (1982) revealed similar patterns in a classroom of Algonkian Indian children taught by an Algonkian Indian teacher on the Odawa reserve in Canada. Example #6 is from the beginning of a lesson that occurs in a first grade classroom: Example #6 Initiation Reply T: On our calendar, what’s the next number? T: And this is . . . Evaluation Many: Ten// G: Ten C: Ma::rch G: March T: March tenth T: Somebody’s got these all mixed //E: Nineteen// C: Nineteen F: Wednesday// Class: Wednesday T: How many in the grade ones are putting the date in their books? I notice some books you forget to put it and I put down March// Class: Ten//ten//ten T: And this is . . . Class: 1976 T: Now we don’t have this on the calendar but we put it in our books. This is the year 19764 This teacher is asking “known information questions,” but her manner of allocating turns for students to talk in the Initiation frame is different than conventional classrooms: She did not identify students by name. This turn-allocation technique does not obligate students to stand out as individuals; instead, they can choose to participate in unison as members of groups when answering questions. Erickson & Mohatt (1982) point out that 4 Parallel lines (//) indicate overlapping speech Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 12 2/6/16 her evaluation moves were different also. Here we see that she did not evaluate students’ replies after each turn. In other exchanges during this and other lessons, she dispensed praise in public, criticism in private. These techniques were applauded for being more compatible with the cultural style of the Native students than the more individualized IRE sequences of traditional classrooms (Erickson & Mohatt 1982; cf. Philips 1983). Erickson & Mohatt (1982) also observed a non-Indian Canadian teacher in the same school. When he first started teaching, his style was similar to the default condition in all respects. The longer he taught on the Odawa reserve, the more his teaching practices shifted in the direction of his students’ culture. In effect, his Indian students informally socialized him to use more group-based instruction, facilitate more voluntary contributions, and keep evaluations private as they worked together through time. The non-Indian Canadian teacher was taught culturally compatible discourse strategies implicitly by his students. McCullum (1989) makes a similar point about the cultural congruity of a Puerto Rican teacher’s discourse practices with her Puerto Rican students. While the Initiation acts of an English-speaking teacher of Puerto Rican students McCullum studied in Chicago called upon students to respond individually and compete for the floor, the Initiation acts of a Spanish-speaking teacher of Puerto Rican students in Puerto Rico permitted students to volunteer answers and respond in groups. McCullum suggests that the language patterns used in the Puerto Rican classroom signaled a social relationship between teacher and students that was closer to an “instructional conversation” (Tharp & Gallimore 1988) than a recitation lesson. And this instructional conversation was more consistent with the conversational patterns in everyday Puerto Rican life. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 13 2/6/16 Some researchers have engaged teachers explicitly in culturally compatible discourse strategies. Heath (1983) reports that the teachers used instructional strategies when instructing low-income students in “Trackton” that were not prevalent in the students’ homes. Whereas Trackton teachers would use known information questions in IRE formats, Trackton parents would use statements or imperatives. And when parents did ask questions of Trackton children, they called for nonspecific comparisons or analogies as answers. Heath (1983) concluded that the language used in Trackton homes did not prepare children to cope with the major characteristics of the language used in classrooms: utterances that were interrogative in form but directive in pragmatic function, known information questions, and questions that asked for information from books. In order to increase Trackton students’ verbal skills in naming objects, identifying their characteristics, providing descriptions out of context, and responding to known information questions, Heath (1983) worked with the Trackton teachers on ways to appropriate the community’s ways of interacting with children. After reviewing tapes of parent-child interactions with researchers, teachers began social studies lessons with questions that asked for personal experiences and analogic responses, such as “What’s happening there?” “Have you ever been there?” “What’s this like?” These questions were similar to the questions that parents asked their children at home. Their use during the beginning of lessons was productive in generating active responses from previously passive and “nonverbal” Trackton students. Once the teachers increased the students’ participation in lessons using home-based questioning styles, they were able to use more school-based questioning styles. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 14 2/6/16 This line of research has led to several educational recommendations. The basic idea is to use students’ home knowledge and cultural practices as a resource in classroom instruction. Teachers are encouraged to build upon the strengths of home language and culture. This may involve modifying the participation structures of the classroom to be more compatible with the participation structures of the home. The work reviewed above evidences a concern to enable under represented minority group students to participate more actively in classroom lessons. The work we review in the next section is concerned with encouraging students to gain control over the complexities of academic discourse. The work of Teresa McCarty, Carol Lee, and their colleagues represents a transition from a concern for participation to a concern with cognitive development within studies of classroom discourse. For decades Native American students have been portrayed in the literature as quiet, passive, nonresponsive. They have been said to learn by observing and doing, not through listening and saying (More, 1989; Tharp, 1989). Often in the name of cultural compatibility, educators have emphasized nonverbal means of instruction and cueresponse scripted drills as a way to reach passive Indian students. McCarty et al. (1991) say that these erstwhile attempts have had an unfortunate side effect. Indian students are neither taught to engage in reasoning with evidence nor to employ inquiry methods. Working with the Navajo-staffed Native American Materials Development Center, staff members of the Rough Rock Indian reservation school implemented an inquiry-based bilingual social studies program. Students were asked to scour their community and return with lists of things needed in their community. Students were then asked to group like items and justify their choices. Eventually they reached a consensus, identifying things Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 15 2/6/16 needed and things they’d like to have. That consensus led to the lesson generalization: “Rough Rock is a community because people work together to meet their needs and solve mutual problems” (McCarty et al., 1991: 57). The lessons in “Navajo Humanities” suggest that Navajo students will indeed respond enthusiastically to inquiry-based questioning that asks them to provide evidence for their observations. In a similar manner, Lee (1995) described how six teachers in two urban schools helped their high school classes composed primarily of African American students increase their skills of interpreting rich literary texts by introducing and building upon material drawn from cultural routines and rituals. The teachers first helped their students analyze the rules for achieving irony in signifying rituals.5 Next they invited students to read and analyze contemporary literature, such as Tony Morrison’s (1970) The Bluest Eye and Alice Walker’s (1982) The Color Purple. Teachers regularly asked questions during instructional units that required the students to make inferences, interpret figurative language, and draw upon evidence from disparate parts of the text as well as personal experiences of the social world embodied in the texts. A comparison of students’ scores on pre- and post-tests of text-interpretation document students’ shift to more sophisticated interpretations of complex inferential questions. Recent Developments Classroom lessons composed primarily of IRE sequences have been criticized for being overly teacher-centered, for converging on one correct response, and for demanding 5 Many signifying episodes are intended to insult and criticize. Examples of signifying, such as the following, whose purpose is to instruct and inform were used in Lee’s study: Rochelle: Girl, you sure do need to join the Metrecal for lunch bunch Grace: (noncommitedly) Yeah, I guess I am putting on a little weight Rochelle: Now look here girl, we both standing here soaking wet and you still trying to tell me it ain’t raining (Lee 1995: 615). In this conversation between two sisters, one has tried to conceal the fact that she is pregnant from the other. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 16 2/6/16 factual information or yes-no responses from students (MacBeth 2003; Wells & Arauz 2006; Edelsky 2006). Partially in response to such criticisms, we have witnessed a shift in focus within the study and practice of classroom discourse. The studies revealing cultural variations on the recitation script we reviewed in the previous section sought to increase the participation of minority students in classroom lessons in the name of educational equity. If minority students could be encouraged to take more turns at talk in classroom lessons, then they could be better prepared to contribute more actively in the full dimensions of school life. More recent studies that we review in this section are concerned with prompting students to engage in more sophisticated forms of reasoning. This cognitive shift does not abandon the equity agenda. It transforms it. Teachers who work to support academically productive talk in classrooms see this as a tool to promote knowledge building and powerful learning for students, especially in science, mathematics, and language arts. Building knowledge and reasoning skills in these fields, in turn, is seen as a way to better prepare underserved students for college, participation in the political economy, and democratic institutions. In other words, we are seeing a shift in the classroom language game from recitation to reasoning. A prominent goal of the reasoning game is to socialize students into “academic discourse,” i. e., that genre in which ideas are presented (in written or oral form) in academic or scholarly contexts that privileges the analytical and the presentation of evidence to advance an argument (Toulman 1958). Academic discourse is a special genre. No one is a native speaker. To be sure some students have gained familiarity with certain of its aspects through family interaction or religious training (for the bar/bas Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 17 2/6/16 mitzvah, for example) but it is not a completely natural way of speaking for any students. Therefore, all students need to learn to use the complete repertoire of academic discourse. Students who become fluent users of academic discourse learn to explain their ideas in detail, invoking evidence to support their reasoning. Evidence in support of claims may have been gathered from observations, demonstrations, experiments in science or math classes, or ideas from texts they have been reading in language arts social studies or history classes, for example. They are also able to provide evidence-based claims that compete with those of other students. In order to generate claims supported by evidence and counter-factual claims, students must learn to listen carefully to each other with respect, take seriously and evaluate their own and other competing ideas. Fostering students to reason with evidence is not an easy task (Kovalainena and Kumpulainen 2007). Teachers require considerable coaching in order to engage students in productive discussions (Tharp & Gallimore 1988; Michaels , O’Conner, and Resnick 2008). In addition, teachers have to reconcile the tension between a desire for moving students toward more sophisticated forms of reasoning and maintaining classroom control (Emanuelson & Sahlström 2008). This tension exists because the initiation acts that foster reasoning with evidence often invite students to provide interpretations or offer their own life experiences. While these discourse moves can open up conversations, they can introduce lines of interaction that pulls lessons in unexpected and unproductive directions. In this section we illustrate classroom discourse featuring teachers who, cognizant of this challenge, incorporate initiations that elicit students’ observations and interpretations and encourage them to provide evidence of their reasoning. Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 18 2/6/16 The shift from recitation to reasoning also requires a shift in the way we display transcripts. Teacher-led interaction with students still conforms to a tripartite pattern. Classroom interaction continues to be organized by teachers, a social fact captured by placing the teacher in the first position of an instructional sequence. So, too, for the most part, students continue to occupy the second, reply position in the sequence. The third position in the 3-part sequence changes considerably, however. The work that is done here is more involved than evaluating the correctness of a student’s reply. Teachers (and sometimes students) acknowledge replies, reformulate, revoice, or comment upon them. Therefore, to be consistent with the materials we present—and recommendations of other researchers (e. g., Wells 1993)--we change the name of the third slot from Evaluation to Feedback. Encouraging Students to Display the Grounds of their Reasoning In a lesson designed to encourage middle school students to practice making estimates of ratios and proportions, Marilyn Burns (1989) first used cuisenaire rods of certain lengths and color to measure the length of a student’s desk. Then, she divided the class into small groups and asked them to measure their desks using rods of different lengths. After she placed samples of the (magnetized) rods on the chalkboard, the following exchanges between teacher and students transpired: Example #7 Initiation Responses T: So, what I’m interested in hearing now is how you figured out how many blue, red, and white rods it took to stretch across the table. And I’m also interested in hearing how many different ways there are to think about that. So, Craig, how Feedback Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 19 2/6/16 many blue rods does it take to stretch across the table and how did you figure that? C: Six and two thirds T: And how did you figure that out? C: Because, um there is 3 light greens that fit into the blue and then you go “3, 3 greens times 6” that would 18 and that won’t be a full rod so take off 2. So you put down 2 and take out one green. That would be 2/3, that would be 6/23 T: And Nathan, how many blue rods do you think stretch across the table? T: And explain to me how you got that answer T: Kim, how many blue rods do you think it takes to stretch across the table, and how did you figure that out? N: About 6 N: We took the blues and then took the light greens and compared how many would stretch across and worked our way down and got up to 20 green. And we just stuck these on top to see how many of these would fit on 20 green K: 6 3/4. We just laid ‘em out and then laid about half on the table lengthwise and if we didn’t have enough we just like used some bigger ones and like added them together T: So, when I asked this question, I wind up getting 3 different answers. I get 6 2/3 from Craig and I get 6 Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 20 2/6/16 /34 from Kim and I get 6 from Nathan. It shows me there are still differences of opinion but everyone is quite close with that. This teacher asks two types of questions, often within the same initiation act. One asks for students to provide an estimate of measurement. The other asks for a reason for the answer given previously. The teacher doesn’t know exactly what the students’ answers will be; so, these are information seeking questions that specifically seek interpretations and rationales. The teacher actively seeks divergent answers to her questions (“And I’m also interested in hearing how many different ways there are to think about that”). The students present the teacher with a range of answers; none are exactly the same. Notably absent is a verbal evaluation after each student’s reply. The teacher neither praises a correct answer, rejects an incorrect answer, nor verbally encourages further work. Instead, the teacher provides an overall assessment of this phase of the lesson after a number of students have replied. This wide range of teacher moves motivates the change of the name of the third slot in the instructional sequence from Evaluation to Feedback. The lesson continues with the teacher eliciting more estimates and reasons for estimations from the students. She concludes the lesson with a lengthy summary of the exchanges and why she encourages students to explain their reasoning. Encouraging Students to Wrestle with the “Big Ideas” of Science The teacher of a combined 1st--2nd grade classroom composed of a diverse group of students employs “science workshop,” developed by the teacher in collaboration with Chèche Konnen staff (Warren & Rosebery 2011). In Science Workshop students explore the meaning potential of a student’s idea or a scientific account such as Newton’s Laws of Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 21 2/6/16 Motion or one of naturalist David Attenborough’s figurative descriptions of plant life. The idea is written on chart paper, contextualized, and then presented to the class for discussion. The lesson discussed below is a component of a unit designed to investigate the “big job of plants,” which was defined as making new plants. In a previous class, the students suggested various titles for a mural they had composed of the life cycle of a pumpkin plant, and discussed what the suggested titles highlighted about the life of a pumpkin. During the course of that discussion Hakim made an observation that the teacher used to start the following conversation: Example #8 Initiation Reply Feedback T: And so today we’re gonna’ start with something that happened on Monday. Okay? And uh we’re gonna’ think a little bit first about what those words meant, what did they mean by those words, and um how those words helped us to think. Hakim said, “It’s like a spider, because when the mom dies it lays eggs before it dies.” [reads it again] And I want to start with Hakim telling us what you meant by that and then we’ll all talk together about it. What did you mean by that when you said, “it’s like a spider because when the mom dies it lays eggs before it dies” H: Because sometimes some pumpkins T: Speak loud, your loudest voice, okay, honey? H: Because sometimes some pumpkins open up and they haveand they drop seeds. And sometimes farmers collect them and then they put ‘em in the ground Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 22 2/6/16 T: So:: “it’s like a spider” because when the mom dies it lays eggs before it dies” T: How’s that like a spider what you just said? H: um ‘cuz they plant moreum because they get planted all over again T: uh hunh, okay T: Let’s see what other people think Hakim means. 6 A: Well I think T: Speak nice and loud. And then I want to hear from Keshia, Nick and Nick, so you be thinking A: I think um that- well so [looking intently at mural of pumpkin patch life cycle on opposite side of the room] the mother um is the big orange pumpkin and then when it gets ready to die before it lays like um eggs, but the eggs are actually not really eggs they’re seeds for the pumpkin, and then the mother dies and the seum the baby spiders, the seeds start to grow and they get a little bigger, bigger spider, then bigger spider, then bigger spider, and then they get eggs and they die and it just keeps going T: So you’re saying the parents are the orange ones and then when they die they become rotten and ro- and the eggs that they lay are the seeds into the soil [Annie nods] T: Interesting. Okay, T: Who was next? Go ahead Ayanna. Then it was Bruno. A: um like um like if the umA: Wait what were we talking about? 6 Two students follow with their comments – skipped because of time – the rest is continuous Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 23 2/6/16 T: How is this- what does Hakim mean when he says “It’s like a spider because when the mom dies it lays eggs before it dies” A: Um:: He means like um the mother of the pumpkin, it lays eggs and like the um baby spider is like- the little egg was the baby spider, the baby spider it needs to do all the like- it needs to know like how to firstlike it might not know how to like (walk)- like it mightif like it was a baby spider, and it was so small, and no one could see it, it would step on it but it would die, and if it died, it wouldn’t grow up T: But the mom dies and in the spider when the mom dies it lays eggs T: Right Ay: Yeah T: The eggs get laid before it dies. How is that like the pumpkin? ‘Cuz that’s what Hakim said, it’s like a pumpkin. The pumpkin is like the spider Ay: Because the- that- the way as the pumpkin dies is like it gets rotten and the way as the spider dies it’s gonna get old T: Yeah// Ay: =and it’s kinda like the same because um the um rotten pumpkins‘cuz of the rotten pumpkins and the um spiders, they’re getting old and that’s how they die. T: uh huhn T: And what happens when they die? Ay: They lay eggs T: Both of em? Ay: Well not the pumpkin [Smiling] T: Well that’s what Hakim says, it’s like the spider Ay: The pumpkin- the pumpkin doesn’t Ay: The lay eggs because- um if the pumpkin lays eggs it would- wait- if the pumpkin laid eggs um that would be weird because Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 24 2/6/16 if the pumpkin laid eggs, and um the spider laid eggs, and the pumpkin didn’t, didn’t have nothing in it, that would be// H: //The pumpkin does have something in it T: Tell her what you think H: The pumpkin has seeds inside Ay: I know but I’m talking about the egg. The egg doesn’t have- a spider only has an egg ‘cuz if the pumpkin had an egg (3 sec pause) T: But you’re thinking inside the egg of a spider when it opens it’s a spider// Ay: Yeah// T: //Inside the egg of a pumpkin when it opens it’s not-you don’t think it’s a pumpkin? Ay: No [shaking her head] T: You have anything to say about that? H: Yeah T: Go ahead H: The seed is almost like an egg T: Speak up and talk to Ayanna H: The seed is almost like an egg T: Can you explain how you think that? H: Because there’s seeds inside a pumpkin because there’s seeds inside a pumpkin and sometimes some of the pumpkins splat open and they get planted by theirselves T: That’s interesting T: And so how is a seed like an egg? I heard you [to Bruno] say it, that the egg is the seed. Go ahead, say what you think. B: The seed is kinda like an egg because an egg ‘cuz like something’s inside a egg T: Talk to Ayanna, too B: So the um spider when it lays eggs and then it dies, it’s like fir- when it dies and lays eggs something’s in there, a spider, a born spider, and the same thing with the pumpkin, it has- but except it has more eggs, like the seeds, but the seeds are eggs but it looks likebut in- the spider and the pumpkin have something inside the seed and the egg T: So the seed is the egg T: So when you- inside the egg of a spider, say, would be a spider, or something that might start a spider, right? We don’t know// B: (// ) T: //Inside the seed, is there a pumpkin? (Nick on T’s left, vigorously shaking his head “no” Suzi nodding her head “yes” vigorously.) B: Something like uh// Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT T: //What do you think? Suzi, you’re saying “yes,” go ahead 25 2/6/16 S: ‘Cuz it’s like a sprout of a pumpkin T: ‘Cuz we saw, right, what happens, it’s like the beginning of a pumpkin// B:// like the ( )//S: Uh huhn B: ‘Cuz like the spider has something in the egg and the pumpkin has something in the seed, they both have something in the seed and the egg// H: //and then it grows and grows and grows T: The seed and the egg have something in it that and it grows and grows and grows B: It’s like it’s born T: It’s like it’s born, it’s like the beginning of it getting born. Cool The teacher commenced this lesson by tying the topic back to issues raised by students in a previous lesson—the similarities between pumpkins and spider life cycles. Similarities—and differences--are key concepts in science (as well as other domains of academic life and everyday life). Therefore, this teacher is working to ensure her students understand these important terms and can use them in academic discourse. In doing so, the teacher encouraged many types of responses from the students: claims, interpretations, explanations, and justifications. The teacher encouraged students to offer divergent or competing interpretations. When the teacher asked: “Let’s see what other people think Hakim means,” she obtained an interpretation from Annie that diverged from his: “I think . . . the mother um is the big orange pumpkin and then when it gets ready to die before it lays like um eggs, but the eggs are actually not really eggs they’re seeds for the pumpkin, and then the mother dies and the se- um the baby spiders, the seeds start to grow and they get a little bigger, bigger spider, then bigger spider, then bigger spider, and then they get eggs and they die and it just keeps going.” During the course of this lengthy response, this student formulated an identity relation between the big orange pumpkin and the mother and equated the spider Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 26 2/6/16 world with the pumpkin world (“spider eggs” become “seeds for the pumpkin”). Annie also alluded to the development of new life (“the seeds start to grow”) as a process of incremental growth (“they get a little bigger…”). Thus, Annie expanded Hakim’s analogy by voicing the idea that life and death are intimately connected—a sophisticated biological observation. At another point in the lesson, the teacher asked “and so how is a seed like an egg?” she obtained a claim from Bruno that differed from Hakim’s: “The seed is kinda’ like an egg because an egg- cuz like something’s inside a egg.” Ayanna offered yet another interpretation of Hakim’s original analogy: the possibility of difference in the spider egg (which contains a live baby spider) and the pumpkin seed (which does not contain a live pumpkin). Here Ayanna accepted the teacher’s invitation to explore alternatives by focusing her attention on the inside of the spider egg and pumpkin seed. In addition to encouraging different interpretations, the teacher often expected students to justify their reasoning. For example, Hakim began his statement with a “because clause” which served to justify his position: “Because sometimes some pumpkins open up and they have- and they drop seeds.” On another occasion in the lesson, the teacher asked Hakim to explain his reasoning: “Can you explain how you think that?” Hakim obliges: “Because there’s seeds inside a pumpkin, because there’s seeds inside a pumpkin and sometimes some of the pumpkins splat open and they get planted by theirselves.” Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 27 2/6/16 When she explicitly invited other students to assess Hakim’s assertion that pumpkins are like spiders, the teacher received a range of explanations, all of which began with a “because clause:” Hakim: “Because sometimes some pumpkins open up and they have- and they drop seeds. And sometimes farmers collect them and then they put ‘em in the ground. “ Hakim: “um ‘cuz they plant more- um because they get planted all over again.” Ayanna: “and it’s kinda’ like the same because um the um rotten pumpkins- ‘cuz of the rotten pumpkins and the um spiders, they’re getting old and that’s how they die.” On another occasion, when the teacher asked “is there a pumpkin inside a seed,” one student (Nick) answered “no,” while another (Suzi) answered “yes.” The teacher then encouraged them to provide evidence of their reasoning. From Susi, she received this response “‘Cuz it’s like a sprout of a pumpkin.” Throughout this discussion, the teacher seldom evaluated the quality of students’ answers or sanctioned violations of turn-allocation procedures. She did reformulate students’ answers often, however. For example, Hakim modified his original position and now asserted “The seed is almost like an egg.” Bruno recapitulated this position: “The seed is kinda’ like an egg because an egg ‘cuz like something’s inside a egg.” The teacher reformulated these observations as “a seed is like an egg.” When Bruno offered the claim that seeds and eggs are similar in that they are both born, the teacher expanded Bruno’s insight further, “It’s like it’s born, it’s like the beginning of it getting born.” Here, the teacher and students are jointly constructing an understanding of sophisticated biological concepts together (Warren & Rosebery 2011). Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 28 2/6/16 When Annie offered her elaborate analogy about mothers/pumpkins and eggs/seeds (discussed above), the teacher reformulated that response as: “So you’re saying the parents are the orange ones and then when they die they become rotten and roand the eggs that they lay are the seeds into the soil.” After Annie nodded in the affirmative, she said “ Interesting. Okay . . .” before asking her next question. The teacher reformulated Hakim’s observation: “Sometimes some pumpkins open up and they have- and they drop seeds. And sometimes farmers collect them and then they put ‘em in the ground” as “ So:: ‘it’s like a spider’ because when the mom dies it lays eggs before it dies.” Encouraging Teachers to Deploy Discourse Moves to Improve Students’ Reasoning Some teachers learn to socialize students to use academic discourse on their own; however, many teachers require explicit tuition in order to do so. Responding to this need, some teacher-researcher learning communities assist teachers deploy discourse moves that stimulate students to move toward more sophisticated forms of reasoning and modes of expression.7 These teacher-researcher collaborations employ weekend or week-long workshops, semester-long seminars, and in some cases web-based courses, to assist teachers increase the quantity and quality of academically productive discussions in classroom lessons. 7 For example: The Inquiry Project and Talk Science Professional Learning Pathways (with on-going research with teachers in urban, suburban, and rural schools in Massachusetts and Vermont using the webbased PD tools). Resources are available to all: [http://inquiryproject.terc.edu/prof_dev/pathway/pathway4.cfm] 2) Professional development in math, taking place in school-based study groups, with Chapin, O'Connor, & Anderson, N., (2009) in conjunction with the facilitators guide: Anderson, Chapin, & O'Connor, (2012). 3) Institute for Learning (on-line facilitated workshops) on Accountable Talk: Goldman, P., [http://ifl.lrdc.pitt.edu/ifl/index.php/professional_development/online_facilitated_workshops] CRMSE-SDSU Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 29 2/6/16 In this section, we use materials from the “Talk Science” project (Doubler, McWilliams, and Michaels 2012) to illustrate this new development in the analysis and use of classroom discourse. Michaels and O’Conner (2012) have identified 9 “talk moves,” adapted from Chapin, O’Conner & Anderson (2009), that are intended to help teachers support 4 goals: 1) helping students share, expand, and clarify their own ideas, going public with their thinking, so that others can think with them; 2) helping students listen carefully to one another; 3) helping students dig deeper into their reasoning, with data and evidence; and 4) think with others. After presenting the Talk Science example, we chart discourse moves described by O’Conner et al (2009) and Michaels & O’Conner (2012) on display in this lesson. In Example #9 from a science classroom in a 4th grade classroom in the Boston area serving predominately African American youth from low-income backgrounds, the teacher arranged students into small groups. Cubes made of copper and aluminum were dropped into beakers of water. Students were instructed to record their observations in their science notebooks. The teacher composed charts on the wall that summarized the characteristics of the cubes in water. When the students were assembled on the classroom’s common meeting area, a rug, with their science notebooks in front of them, the teacher initiated a conversation about what they observed. She framed the discussion by asking which of the metal cubes would make the water level rise— the weight or the volume of the objects. She started the discussion by calling on a student: Example #9 Initiation T: Mathias, you want to talk to the group about the conclusion that you Response Feedback Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT came up with? And lets make sure everyone’s looking at Mathias, to show we are listening to him T: Does anyone want to respond to that? Lets make sure everyone’s looking at Mathias, to show we are listening to him and kind of respond with their own ideas, or can add another idea to it? Flevor, go ahead. Talk to Mathias about how you feel about what he said T: And can someone explain or repeat for us what Flevor 30 2/6/16 M: Well, my group—we came up-w-we found out that um that I-well, we found out that the-we thought becau-it was because of the volume in the water level, because um um we found out that the s-the-s-the volume in the water level were the same, but the weight was different. And I thought that, if—if the weight, was the um, there was more weight, um, in the aluminum cube then the um aluminum cube, then it should depend on the volu— on the volume because, the weight, if it was more, the copper was more, then it would have more volume if it w--, it really depended on the weight F: I agree with what you said because this for example like if you put—if you had a big um can of water and you put something like that in a big cup of water, the water level would rise a lot, and if you put in a copper cube, and its not even gonna’—its not going to rise that much, even though that copper cube would weigh more than a eraser T: Ahh Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT thought would happen if I put an object this big (holds up eraser) in water? Javon, what do you think would happen if I put an object this big in a cup of water? T: //Why? What would make that Water rise a lot? What is it about this object that would make the water level rise a lot more than the cooper cube or the aluminum cube? T: Alicia, you want to share with the group some of your thoughts? 31 2/6/16 J: He said that if you, if you had like a big br-like a big bottle of like water and put the eraser in it, then it would probably like rise a lot then// J: because that has a different volume than the copper cube Al: Well, I kind of disagree Because like the uh A: With Flevor, because… T: With who? T: Talk to him and tell him why you disagree with him T: Aisha, you want to add something? A: I disagree with you because like the um, eraser could soak up the water Ai: I have a question for you Flevor. Um, what if the object had like buoyancy, like it was able to float? T: Oh! I think that’s a good group question, question for the group T: But go ahead, Flevor (lesson continues) T: Then it would be a different story, because if-if it w-if it had buoyancy, then it wouldn’t really be taking up much space, so, but I wouldn’t know if it would—it wouldn’t be sinking like I was talking about Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 32 2/6/16 Even though this lesson continues past the point at which the transcription stops, this excerpt provides sufficient detail to illustrate the ways in which a teacher can invite students to reason with evidence. The teacher introduced the norms for classroom discussion throughout the school year such as insisting that students listen carefully to one another, give each other time to think, and direct a comment at the author of a previous comment. She reinforced them within this lesson: (“lets make sure everyone’s looking at Mathias, to show we are listening to him;” “talk to Mathias about how you feel about what he said;” “talk to him and tell him why you disagree with him”). Here are the discourse moves appearing in this transcript followed by quotes from the teacher: Discourse goal—Helping students use evidence of reasoning Specific moves: “Do you want to talk to the group about the conclusion that you came up with?” “Javon, what do you think would happen if I put an object this big in a cup of water?” “Alicia, you want to share with the group some of your thoughts?” “Aisha, you want to add something?” Discourse Goal--Helping students deepen their reasoning by challenging or providing a counter example Specific move: “Does anyone want to respond to that?” Discourse Goal—Helping students listen carefully to one another Specific moves: Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 33 2/6/16 “Lets make sure everyone’s looking at Mathias, to show we are listening to him” “And can someone explain or repeat for us what Flavor thought would happen if I put an object this big (holds up eraser) in water? Discourse move--Inviting students to listen carefully to one another by rephrasing or repeating “Can someone explain or repeat for us what Flevor thought would happen if I put an object this big (holds up eraser) in water?” Now we turn our attention to the students’ responses to these teacher’s initiation moves. If we look past their false starts and frequent injections (such as “like,” “um,” and “ah”), then we see evidence of students reasoning with evidence. Mathias, the first student invited by the teacher to explain his reasoning offered a long soliloquy: “Well, my group—we came up-w-we found out that um that I-well, we found out that the-we thought becau-it was because of the volume in the water level, because um um we found out that the s-the-s-the volume in the water level were the same, but the weight was different.” The gist of this response is: First we thought weight, but we found out that it was volume that made the difference, because if the primary factor had been weight, then the cube that was heavier would have made the water level rise more. But it didn’t. Therefore the causal factor has to be volume. In short, his reasoning is cogent and sophisticated, including the use of evidence-based counterfactuals. When the teacher asked why a blackboard eraser would make the water level rise a lot more than the copper cube or the aluminum cube, Javon responded succinctly: “because that [the eraser] has a different volume than the copper cube.” Consider this exchange between the teacher and Alicia: Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT Initiation T: Alicia, you want to share with the group some of your thoughts? T: With who? T:Talk to him and tell him why you disagree with him 34 2/6/16 Reply Feedback Al: Well, I kind of disagree Because like the uh A: With Flevor, because… A: I disagree with you because like the um, eraser could soak up the water In her second turn-at-talk, Alisha’s also stated her reasons for her conclusion concerning the response of a blackboard eraser compared to a metal object when placed into a beaker of water succinctly. The following exchange demonstrates the unpredictability of lessons when teachers invite a range of divergent thinking. Aisha took the lesson in a direction probably not anticipated by the teacher. In the process she introduced a new term, “buoyancy,” to the discussion and challenged Trevor to justify his position. Initiation T: Aisha, you want to add something? Reply Feedback Ai: I have a question for you Flevor. Um, what if the object had like buoyancy, like it was able to float? T: Oh! I think that’s a good group question, question for the group T: But go ahead, Flevor Summary T: Then it would be a different story, because if-if it w-if it had buoyancy, then it wouldn’t really be taking up much space, so, but I wouldn’t know if it would—it wouldn’t be sinking like I was talking about Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 35 2/6/16 In sum, the examples of teacher-student discourse in this section vary from the IRE sequences described in recitation lessons. Notably, teachers’ initiations moved from a convergence to divergence, that is away from the pursuit of a single correct answer to encouraging multiple responses to an initiating move. These initiations also resulted in longer and more complex replies from individual students, including evidence-based reasoning and challenges and questions from students directed at their peers. They extended discussion across many students and turns at talk. These teacher initiations covered a wide range, calling for students to offer interpretations and to provide evidence of their claims. They also encouraged students to provide varied interpretations. When conversations became animated, students didn’t wait for the teacher to initiate the next round. The students continued responding among themselves, which sometimes produced a cascade of replies and student initiations. The discourse moves in the third position in the instructional triad also vary widely from the IRE sequences described above. In addition to judging the correctness of students’ answers or monitoring students’ conformance to turn-allocation rules, teachers revoice students’ replies (e. g., from Example #8: “Teacher: The seed and the egg have something in it that and it grows and grows and grows. Bruno: It’s like it’s born. Teacher: It’s like it’s born, it’s like the beginning of it getting born. Cool”); comment on the course of the lesson (e.g., from Example #7 “Teacher: So, when I asked this question, I wind up getting 3 different answers. I get 6 2/3 from Craig and I get 6 /34 from Kim and I get 6 from Nathan. It shows me there are still differences of opinion but everyone is quite close with that); compliment students for fresh ideas (e. g., from Example #9: “Teacher: Oh! I think that’s a good group question, question for the group”). Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 36 2/6/16 The teacher-student discourse discussed in this section displays many of the features of Toulmin’s (1958) formulation of productive arguments in the law, the natural and social sciences. Toulmin proposed that a productive argument must ground a claim by providing evidence or data that supports the claim. In the snippets discussed in this section, teachers encouraged students to provide interpretations that are supported by evidence that grounds their argument. When students offered alternative lines of reasoning, teachers encouraged them to invoke counterfactual evidence to support their opposing claims. Toward Further Research In concluding, we call attention to three questions that merit further attention. First, all the research discussed so far is limited to teacher-led lessons. Learning Lessons (1979), where we started, was deliberately limited to those segments from the San Diego classroom. Because such lessons remain significant, in purpose and frequency, across K12 classrooms, this review has not attempted to report beyond that boundary. But other participant structures are possible and valuable for other educational objectives. In her new book, Classroom Discourse and Democracy: Making Meanings Together (2012), Susan Mayer’s objective is for all students to acquire “interpretive authority,” a specific kind of ”intellectual authority” as O’Connor suggests in her Foreword. With tape recordings from discussions of literature in six secondary classrooms, Mayer analyses the discourse in segments she identified as teacher-led (found in all six), student-led (in two classrooms), and co-led (in 3 classrooms). To do justice to these differences, Mayer has retained the tri-partite structure— now renamed Framing, Developing, and Evaluating— and created subcodes for all three Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 37 2/6/16 (see Mayer 2009, Appendix 1). Finally, all these moves can be coded for either teacher or students. Mayer’s work on “more distributed forms of knowledge construction” (Mayer 2012: 99) should stimulate interest in further analyses of such an expanded set of participant structures, in which “the traditional IRF sequence becomes one possibility among many” (Mayer 2012: 51). Second, the conversations between teachers and students discussed in this paper also display the limitations of category schemes (including the IRE scheme) that try to place utterances into discrete, mutually exclusive categories--Initiation or Evaluation, for instance. Often an utterance performs more than one function at the same time. For example, in the discussion about spiders and pumpkins (in Example #8), the teacher said: “So you’re saying the parents are the orange ones and then when they die they become rotten and ro- and the eggs that they lay are the seeds into the soil. [Annie nods] Interesting. Okay. Who was next? Go ahead Ayanna. Then it was Bruno.” This revoicing of the student’s utterance can be seen as an assessment or as an acknowledgement of what the student has said and as an invitation to say more. We chose to divide the utterance after “okay” because the revoicing seemed to serve more as an assessment than an invitation and “who was next . . .” seemed to serve explicitly as an invitation to reply. Co-occurrence relationships are said to operate in everyday discourse such that the appearance of one form of speech (such as a greeting) will be followed by a related term (another greeting) (Ervin Tripp 1972; Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson 1974). The conversational forms that are reflexively related to each other by these co-occurrence rules often appear one after the other. So, for example, a greeting offered by one person will be Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 38 2/6/16 followed by a greeting from another, an inquiry about one’s health (“how are you?”) is followed by “state of being information” (“I’m fine; how about you?”). Co-occurrence relationships seem to govern interactional sequences in classrooms as well, at least in teacher-led lessons. Particular kinds of replies follow particular kinds of initiation acts with great regularity. A call for factual information, such as names and dates, induces that type of information. A teacher’s request for interpretations about an analogy between spiders and pumpkins generates a wide range of them. So, too, students’ displays of their reasoning about how they estimated ratios and propositions cooccurred with the teacher’s request for students to explain their reasoning. It is also interesting to note that certain kinds of teacher follow-up responses to student responses (which would be located in the 2nd position in Mayer’s scheme) seem to co-occur with more complex utterances and reasoning on the part of students. The co-occurrence relationship between what Michaels and O’Connor (this volume) call “Productive Talk Moves” – is another kind of relationship worth exploring. All of these moves defer evaluation, and open up a slot for more student explication and reasoning. The relation between types of initiations and types of replies is not isomorphic, of course. But our tabulation of the distribution of replies related to initiations showed cooccurrence relations occurred 88% of the time in 480 sequences across nine lessons (Mehan 1979). It would be interesting to see, for example, whether the same predominance of such relations holds true in other of the newly-expanded set of participant structures, and whether exceptions are considered by the participants as violations to be repaired, or ruptures to conventional co-occurrence expectations that lead Mehan & Cazden AERA ’13 DRAFT 39 2/6/16 in productive directions as in Aisha’s question addressed to another student placed in the 2nd/Reply column in Example (#9) above. Finally, when these lessons (and the larger curriculum unit they enact) are over, we do not know from the information in the teacher-student exchanges alone what the students have learned toward particular curricular objectives. We also do not know if there is any correlation between the extent of individual students’ verbal participation and their learning. 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