Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 5

           The Ginsburg (1997) article introduced methods for conducting a successful clinical interview, including being prepared for the interview, recording the interview, establishing and monitoring motivation, assessing the knowledge of the child, and determining learning potential. An important theme in this reading that was continually stressed was that the child was leading the interview proceedings. Of course, the researcher is the one asking questions with a framework in mind, but the child needs to feel autonomous in order to feel comfortable enough to allow barriers to come down and thus have a transparent interview.
            The Greeno & Hall (1997) article talks about using representations as useful tools for developing understanding of the subject matter being taught. The article emphasizes that using a variety of different models and model types can significantly help promote understanding of the material. This is due in part to the collaborative aspect that students can benefit from when sharing material and explaining their models to a class.
            The Russ & Sherin (2013) article offers student-thinking interviews as an option to assess whether the student has learned and comprehended the material prior to its being taught, and to what extent. Teachers can facilitate interviews with students by asking open-ended questions, prompting follow up answers, and giving students new information to get them unstuck from the problem. This method is beneficial for teachers seeking to pre-test students’ background knowledge and thus cater the lesson to what the class does not yet know.
            The Russ & Sherin article suggests that students may have learned more before taking the class, and therefore conducting an interview serves two purposes: a) to allow the teacher to know what not to repeat in class, and b) to allow the student to review the material as they have to explain the concepts to the clinical interviewer (the practicum TA). This explanation of concepts is at the core of the Greeno & Hall article, which stresses that students who do model-based projects and then have to present them to their peers understand the concepts better because they had to know them in-depth to be able to explain them. This understanding can be explored in a clinical interview by a skilled researcher who knows how to ask the right questions; these types of questions are discussed in the Ginsburg reading. That is essentially how these readings tie together.


  1. Faith, do you think another purpose of the interview might be to provide the teacher with the students' prior knowledge so that the teacher can make appropriate connections for the students instead of focusing on what not to repeat in class? What I took away from the reading (paired with our conversations in class) was more focused on how to build on prior knowledge rather than avoid discussing content that has already been covered.

  2. Faith I in what way do you think is best to open up students to the idea of being on camera. Often times especially the younger a child is the parents with the signing of a consent form are very much ready for heir children to take center stage. Yet the children feel shy and scared . I agree with your first point on Ginsburg in that yes students often do lead the interview process and for a good product must be catered to.