Title of Work

Advancing Equity in Elementary Classroom Discussions

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

January 2020

Conference Location



Leading a text-based group discussion is a bedrock of English-Language Arts teaching. Doing it well involves skilled pedagogy, solid content knowledge and a focus on equity. How does a teacher enable, orchestrate and close a group discussion? What kinds of texts and questions inspire engaging discussions? How does attention to equity drive not only selecting texts and questions, but the moves a teacher makes to advance justice in an inclusive group discussion? In this presentations, a team of teacher educators take a fresh look at leading discussions that honor all students’ interests, assets and needs.Framed by practice-based teacher education theory and pedagogies (Forzani, 2014), this session uses video and transcript analysis to review discussion-leading practices by experienced teachers in their classrooms. Attending to skilled practice is a dimension of leading a group discussion that buoys literacy professionals. Husby, et al. (2018) explain that taking a practice-based approach to pre-and in-service professional development has a special personal-professional benefit, arguing that through this approach, teachers “seek to reclaim [their] own expertise as professionals who appreciate complexity and in-the-moment problem solving” (p. 199).