1. Students as Sources, Armon Kasmai
For students to develop critical consciousness, they must see themselves as intellectuals who can analyze the world around them. One strategy for supporting this intellectual development is to make it explicit by naming students as scholars and theorists in their own right. In his 11th grade U.S. History class, teacher Armon Kasmai is asking students to explore how anti-Irish sentiment may have led to the portrayal of Christopher Columbus as a hero (as a counterpoint to the Catholic Spanish elite who supposedly thought the earth was flat). When a student begins to articulate a theory, Mr. Kasmai tells the class, “Write that down– and put Carlos’ name as the source.” As the discussion continues, another student begins, “History used Columbus to make the Catholics seem… ” and Mr. Kasmai again asks the class to write down their classmate’s theory. In this way, he “names” his students as sources of intellectual opinion.
2. Questioning, Crystal Proctor
This piece shows several parts of Math teacher Crystal Proctor’s Geometry class, which uses the Complex Instruction methodology, a structured, research-based approach to student collaboration. The first 2 minutes and 45 seconds demonstrate Ms. Proctor’s approach to questioning, which includes frequent use of “why …?” and “how do you know …?” to elicit explanations, as well as “what do we call that?” to encourage the use of mathematical vocabulary.
3. Scientist Voices, Amber Lancaster
In this piece, we see several portions of Science teacher Amber Lancaster’s lesson on evolution. One of her objectives is to develop her students’ “scientist voices,” so in the first part of the lesson, when a student develops a theory that sweat causes hair to grow, she does not immediately say he is wrong but instead pushes his thinking. Near the end of this piece, at time 05:20, we see a debate among students about which finches they are studying are related to one another. Ms. Lancaster reminds students that “science is not democratic” and encourages them to support their opinions with scientific reasoning, thus supporting student voice in a format appropriate to the science classroom.
4. Indirect Measurement, Glen Botha
A key concept students need to understand in Chemistry is the idea of indirect measurement, or measuring something by measuring something else, when direct measurement is not possible. Science teacher Glen Botha introduces this concept to his class in preparation for a lab where students will be finding the volume of a piece of aluminum foil. In the process, he also makes reference to two other key scientific concepts– the importance of an equal sign in a mathematical equation, and the method for measuring mass in a Chemistry lab (using an electric balance). Through this process, Mr. Botha is helping his students understand key ideas in depth.