Two of the readings for this week were reviews on how to successfully conduct a student interview. Ginsberg’s chapter Not a Cookbook focused on the different strategies and approaches when conducting clinical interviews to understand children’s understandings and thought processes of concepts. Russ and Sherin also look at strategies for interviewing students, but address it specifically to the realm of science education. Greeno’s and Hall’s paper discusses the importance of the use of representation in science classrooms.
Greeno’s article follows along the ideas of the authors we have read over the past few weeks. However, the paper struck me because of the importance Greeno places on the practice of representation and its relevance to the scientific community and science in everyday life. Greeno even gave examples of how the process works in corporate organizations as well as in the classroom. Practicing representation and discussion of the models are important in order for students to understand and participate in scientific practice and communities. Lehrer, Sampson, and Jackson also hit on the importance of students practicing science, as a scientist would, in order to fully understand concepts and how to communicate and discuss their learnings to, and with, others. Science literacy, according to Greeno, should be taught as a representation of a real scientific community. To him, representations have real life uses, and should be used as such.
As I read through Ginsberg’s chapter and Russ’s article, I felt that I could definitely see myself often using interviewing to understand student thinking in my own future classroom. Ginsberg and Russ say that interviews, done correctly, give great insight to a student’s understanding of a concept. In the video we watched in our last class, I felt that the teacher could have used the idea of the interview a little more as she questioned her students. While the students were able to give some correct answers or examples to her questions, she didn’t ‘probe’ or push for how they got that answer, which would have shown actual understanding (or lack thereof) of potential and kinetic energy.