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“Making Space”: How Novice Teachers Create Opportunities for Equitable Sense-Making in Elementary Science


"Scholarly calls to reform science education for all students emphasize scientific sense-making. Despite the importance of sense-making, few strategies exist to help novice teachers learn to notice and respond equitably to students' scientific sense-making in elementary science. In this article, we report on a qualitative case study in which we investigated sense-making moments that occurred when novice teachers facilitated classroom discussions. Findings suggest that when novice teachers made space in class discussions for sense-making--for example, by trying different responses to clarify student ideas or waiting before responding to figure out next steps--this expanded opportunities for shared epistemic authority; however, novices did not often recognize these moments as productive for sense-making. Findings also suggest that novice teachers may benefit from support to help them develop their abilities to notice, interpret, and respond equitably to students' scientific sense-making in class discussions."