Ginsburg’s article titled, “Not a Cookbook: Guidelines for Conducting a Clinical Interview,” suggests general principles for an interviewer while engaging in an interview. All interviews are unique and children should be treated autonomously. The student should be asked how they arrived at their answer and what their thoughts were throughout the process. Preparedness is an important part of the interview process. Multiple questions of varied level of thinking should be proposed to the student. Interaction with the student is also a difficult set of tasks. The interviewer must gain trust and establish reasoning with the student. Recognition by the interviewer that the student is trying is appreciated and can motivate the student to continue. Next, interviews can be difficult to assess students’ knowledge. Students can arrive at either correct answers without the correct processes or conclude an incorrect answer through a small fault in reasoning. These occurrences should not be overlooked; it is more important to ask how and why during an interview than to ask what. Interviewers should not ask leading questions during an interview, nor should they correct a student. An interviews purpose is to find out what the student knows, not what they can be taught. Asking students the same question in varying forms or asking a different question of the same theme are effective techniques to help a struggling student gain confidence and perform at a higher level. Finally, students can be probed about their knowledge by asking basic thinking questions and then building to higher level thinking.
Greeno and Hall’s article titled, “Practicing Representation,” describes how effective representation in the classroom can increase students’ learning. Students must first engage and participate in representations, then explain their thinking and argue either for or against a representation. Also, representations should be given meaning. A table of data holds much greater value when students can relate their representations and interpret meaning. Students should be able to use a variety of forms of representation when explaining to teachers and other students. Teachers are preparing students for professional work when they are asked to use multiple forms of representation and to explain and argue for them. Representations should be formed of something else, but used to show a different topic or idea; this practice gives representations value.
Russ and Sherin’s article titled, “Using Interviews to Explore Students’ Ideas in Science,” describes techniques for teachers to attain students’ knowledge in interviews. Teachers should discover student ideas by asking indirectly about a concept. Teachers should ask students to describe how something works rather than what makes something works. By describing ideas, teachers can assess students’ thinking. Then, the teacher should ask questions about the students’ response. Finally, interviews can introduce students to new concepts during an interview to encourage how a student thinks in the future. When conducting an interview, topics should be broad so that students can talk freely about the matter. Interviewers should prepare questions for the students to likely responses. A broad demographic range of students should be selected when conducting interviews. Next, students should feel welcome to the interview process. A student who feels pressured is less likely to be successful in an interview.
Wu and Puntambekar’s article titled, “Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes,” describes using representations in the science classroom to mimic professional scientific practices. Multiple types of representations are described and the relationship between representation and interpretation are listed. The importance of how models and representations are given to students is expressed. Students can gain knowledge by working with basic models or representations then build to more complex models. Models and Representations should have interpretation built into instructions or the instructor should explain representational relationships so that students may grasp the value of the activity. Finally, instructors should scaffold lessons with models so that students may think creativity and develop relationships between representations and what they mean.
Between these articles there is a strong emphasis upon explaining and arguing for a representation. Tables and graphs should be given meaning, and this meaning should be interpreted in the classroom. When representations are given meaning, students are able to find patterns or underlying ideas. Students should be able to use representations creativity so that they can explain to the instructor and their peers the interpretation between representation and meaning. This should lead to defense of ideas by students who are either arguing for or against an idea. Instructors should scaffold lessons so that students are able to search for ideas in representations. Also, supportive guidelines are expressed for how to conduct an effective interview. In interviews, students should be asked how they arrived at an answer or solution. This process is more important than the answer; students may have one slight incorrect process that may lead them to a correct answer or an incorrect answer. Interviewers must also establish trust with the student. This can be done by asking simple questions leading to higher level thinking. Once the student has developed a rapport with the interviewer, they may answer open-ended questions. It is important for the interviewer to have a carefully thought plan for the interview. Students who think of the interviewer as unprepared or unprofessional are unlikely to trust or work well with the interviewer.