MICER19 Pre-Reading 1: Renée Cole – Discourse Analysis

In the first of our pre-reading posts, Prof Renée Cole introduces hertopic: discourse analysis. After the abstract, there are some suggested pre-readings for those interested in preparing for this topic in advance of the day. Register for MICER19 here.

Characterizing the nature of classroom discourse

Discourse in the science classroom has been highlighted as an important way that students develop an understanding of scientific concepts. Methods for analyzing student interactions and construction of knowledge and the increased adoption of active learning strategies to teach chemistry provide a unique opportunity to investigate how students develop understandings of fundamental concepts in chemistry, as well as the roles of curricular materials and instructor actions on student reasoning and conceptual growth. Analysis of classroom transcripts and videos provides evidence of the emergence of classroom social norms for reasoning as well as the impact of particular facilitation strategies on student interactions.  The insights gained from this work have implications for how instructors can help scaffold student reasoning and promote productive discourse in chemistry classrooms.

The following .Journal of Chemical Education article (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00993) describes a study that includes extensive discourse analysis of both instructor discourse moves as well as student argumentation. This article provides a brief introduction to the methods and analysis used in discourse analysis.

Analysis of Instructor Facilitation Strategies and Their Influences on Student Argumentation: A Case Study of a Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning Physical Chemistry Classroom

Courtney Stanford, Alena Moon, Marcy Towns, and Renée Cole

Journal of Chemical Education 2016 93 (9), 1501-1513

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00993

A more general discussion of discourse analysis is provided in a chapter from an ACS symposium series book (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/bk-2014-1166.ch004).

Discourse Analysis as a Tool To Examine Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

Renée S. Cole, Nicole Becker, and Courtney Stanford

Tools of Chemistry Education Research. January 1, 2014 , 61-81



Renée Cole is a Professor of Chemistry and CLAS Collegiate Scholar at the University of Iowa. Dr. Cole earned a B.A. in chemistry from Hendrix College, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry education research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on issues related to how students learn chemistry and how that guides the design of instructional materials and teaching strategies as well on efforts related to faculty development and the connection between chemistry education research and the practice of teaching. She is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2015) and has served as Chair of the Chemistry Education Research Committee, and is currently Program Chair for the Women Chemists Committee. She is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Chemical Education and has been a co-editor for two books focusing on chemistry education research. She was awarded the Iowa Women of Innovation Award for Academic Innovation & Leadership (2014), the University of Central Missouri College of Science & Technology Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010), and the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education (2009).

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