1. P. Karen Murphy
  2. http://www.qualitytalk.psu.edu
  3. Professor of Education
  4. Quality Talk
  5. http://www.qualitytalk.psu.edu/
  6. Pennsylvania State University
  1. Jeffrey Greene
  2. http://soe.unc.edu/fac_research/profile/greene.php
  3. Associate Professor of Education
  4. Quality Talk
  5. http://www.qualitytalk.psu.edu/
  6. UNC Chapel Hill
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Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Principal Investigator
    May 11, 2015 | 02:17 p.m.

    This sounds very interesting, and like a solid approach. Have you had much contact with Sue Doubler and her team here at TERC?
    cf. http://inquiryproject.terc.edu/shared/pd/TalkSc...

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 12:40 p.m.

    Thank you for the information. We have not had contact with Sue Doubler, but we will definitely look into this work!

  • Icon for: Iliya Gutin

    Iliya Gutin

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2015 | 03:49 p.m.

    Very well done! This sounds like a great model from improving student engagement with key STEM issues and topics. I was hoping you could elaborate a bit more on how Quality Talk is integrated into classrooms and curricula. Is this something that would be a standalone “lesson” perhaps once a week or a few times a month, or is their an entire lesson plan that follows certain issues. For instance, if a class were covering Global Warming, would they use Quality Talk as more of “complementary” tool that helps move the class along, or would Quality Talk be the primary teaching medium for the duration of a given topic.

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 12, 2015 | 12:38 p.m.

    Thanks! Great question! Teachers deliver two types of lessons: Quality Talk mini-lessons about how to ask questions and generate responses in a discussion and Quality Talk science lessons that specifically target key scientific phenomenon aligning with content typically taught in high school chemistry and physics classrooms. Each mini-lesson takes about 15 minutes to deliver. Each science lesson is designed to be a “standalone” lesson, but the lessons can be fully delivered in three days. Teachers integrate both types of lessons into their classroom throughout the year, and teachers typically implement one Quality Talk mini-lesson and one Quality Talk science lesson per month. However, while teachers conduct Quality Talk discussions in conjunction with the “standalone” Quality Talk science lessons, we also work with teachers to conduct Quality Talk discussions based on their existing curriculum (i.e., Quality Talk is also a “complementary” tool). In this way, if a class were covering Global Warming, the teacher could facilitate a Quality Talk discussion to enhance the students’ thinking about Global Warming, even though we do not have a Quality Talk science lesson on that topic.

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    Marcelyn Blakely-Gloster

    Guest
    May 12, 2015 | 02:20 p.m.

    I feel this new approach to getting our students to engage in stimulating conversation, allows them to express their ideas and concepts in a non threatening environment among their peers. Exceptional idea for teaching STEM.

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 13, 2015 | 12:27 p.m.

    Exactly! We aim to give students the opportunity to think and talk about ideas with their peers in a safe learning environment while also giving them interpretive authority over the content. Thank you!

  • Icon for: Tony Streit

    Tony Streit

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2015 | 12:06 a.m.

    Great concept. Can you share more about how you help facilitate these discussions in context? I’m particularly interested in how you’re engaging underrepresented young people and making the discussions relevant to their reality. What are the struggles in developing a general, scalable strategy like this and still making it adaptable and relevant in a host of settings?

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 14, 2015 | 08:45 a.m.

    Great questions! First, prior to the teachers facilitating the discussions in the context of their classrooms, we conduct a comprehensive initial professional development workshop along with ongoing professional development and coaching to ensure teachers have all the necessary support to conduct the discussions. During both the professional development and coaching sessions, we teach the teachers how to use various “teacher moves” that they can use to facilitate the discussion in meaningful ways. By using these teacher moves during the discussions, teachers can better ensure that underrepresented or otherwise struggling students are successful in the discussions. For example, teachers could reinforce a good authentic question given by a student by “marking” the question with verbal praise. Alternatively, teachers could “prompt” a quiet student to ask a question when there is a lull in the flow of the discussion. At the professional development we teach the teachers different teacher moves, and during coaching we provide them with feedback about their use of teacher moves so that they can continually enhance their discussions. We also ensure that students feel that the discussions are relevant by selecting particularly novel, interesting, and relevant content for the science lessons and consequent discussions. For example, one of our lessons is centered around the airbags (“How does the inflation and deflation of the airbag prevent injury?”). Students are familiar with airbags, but they are unfamiliar with the chemistry and physics behind how they work, which we have found works well to stimulate interest and discussion.

    One of the other important aspects of QT is that students are explicitly taught how to ask and respond to questions, and the teacher is encouraged to gradually release responsibility. What we have seen in our initial research is that this encourages students to have voice and authority over their learning—voice that would normally go unspoken or unheard. Quality Talk encourages students to take control of their own learning, as well as the learning of their peers through co-construction of meaning and something we refer to as cumulative talk. In episodes of cumulative talk, the students are working together to build understanding. Unlike argumentation where their is an element of challenge, cumulative talk describes a situation in which students are helping other come to understand difficult content.

    Your other question about how we are working to make Quality Talk general and scalable, while still making it adaptable and relevant is also very important. We are still relatively early in our line of research; however, we are particularly interested in looking at the effect of different “dosages” of Quality Talk (e.g., How many discussions should teachers facilitate?), as well as which of the facets or ingredients of Quality Talk are critical and which are optional. At this time, we are studying how Quality Talk is implemented under ideal conditions. In the future we also wish to consider the effect of Quality Talk under more routine conditions.

  • Icon for: Samantha Daley

    Samantha Daley

    Director of Research / Principal Investigator
    May 13, 2015 | 11:00 a.m.

    This is great work (and a great video!). I echo Tony’s question above about whether you can share promising strategies to support typically underrepresented students or those who might have difficulty contributing to discussions. I’d love to think about to incorporate some of these ideas in our work with teachers around stereotype threat in middle-school science. (http://videohall.com/p/569)

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 14, 2015 | 08:46 a.m.

    I think our response above might answer your question. We have some more information that might be of interest to you on our website. In particular, you can check out this page: http://www.qualitytalk.psu.edu/2014/03/18/quali...

    You have a great video and project! As a related point, we are working on expanding Quality Talk into rural schools in South Africa to help promote to promote educational pathways to resilience. In that way, there may very well be a way to incorporate Quality Talk discussions into your Inquiry Primed project to help mitigate stereotype threat, perhaps through your Module 4: Peer to Peer. Check out our website, and contact us if you have any questions!

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    Barbara Berns

    Guest
    May 14, 2015 | 10:18 a.m.

    Very interesting and necessary work. Until the elementary and middle schools make talk a part of their instruction, orientation of students into quality talk and discussion must be promoted at high school. Sounds like you have a good approach. I think Samantha is not alone in trying to figure out how to adapt some of your ideas and strategies into her work. Some of EDC’s curriculum and PD efforts could find your work valuable as well. Would love to see a video of the kids talking about some of the science issues cited in the video. Perhaps on your website????

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 15, 2015 | 03:34 p.m.

    Thank you! Regarding your statement about starting early, we wholeheartedly agree. In fact, we also have a project where we implement Quality Talk in elementary language arts classrooms (http://www.qualitytalk.psu.edu/2014/03/18/qtlan...). If you follow our website, we hope to add some “in the classroom” videos in the future.

  • Icon for: Jacqueline Miller

    Jacqueline Miller

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 14, 2015 | 04:05 p.m.

    Your video does a great job of emphasizing the importance of quality and productive talk in the classroom. We have developed tools for high school science teachers based on Sarah Michaels’ productive talk moves to support classroom discussions. These include a primer describing talk in the classroom, a chart of productive moves, and a set of videos demonstrating a classroom discussion. Do you find in your study that gradually students are able to go peer to peer in their discussions without any teacher intervention? Is there any opportunity for students to develop different “kinds” of talk depending on the audience? In conversations with scientists and industry leaders, I have heard that they would like their scientists to be able to communicate well with the public as well as other scientists. They thought starting these different communications skills could begin early in a student’s education. I would be very interested in learning more about your work. Thanks

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 15, 2015 | 03:38 p.m.

    Yes, in our videos we have found that teachers need to provide less support over time. Interestingly, we have also seen students beginning to take on some of the productive “teacher moves.” For example, after engaging in Quality Talk for some time, students begin to prompt other students for their input and praise their peers’ questions or responses, “wow, that is a good question!” After awhile, the role of the teacher actually becomes more of that of a participant, rather than that of a facilitator.

    Please check out our website for more information, including some publications with more info about Quality Talk. www.qualitytalk.psu.edu

  • Icon for: Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Zenaida Aguirre Munoz

    Associate Professor
    May 15, 2015 | 02:23 p.m.

    this is a great model and I almost missed it! We are looking at the impact of academic conversations in engineering-centered activities in K-2 classrooms. This will definitely inform our work with teachers.

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 15, 2015 | 03:50 p.m.

    Thank you! We appreciate your comment!

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    barbara Schneider

    Guest
    May 15, 2015 | 03:01 p.m.

    This is a superb video and had my entire staff watch it so we might be able to produce something as good. What is really useful is that there is a problem, a solution with evidence and a testimonial by a teacher. It is engaging, knowledge producing. My only suggestions some links to published work which I know there are many excellent sources and perhaps the testimonials could have been more active than someone sitting and talking. This is absolutely minor and outstanding work and should be a major showcase for NSF!.

  • Icon for: P. Karen Murphy

    P. Karen Murphy

    Presenter
    May 15, 2015 | 09:54 p.m.

    Thank you!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.