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The Redirection: An Indicator of How Teachers Respond to Student Thinking


"Responsive teaching occurs when teachers take up and respond to their students' ideas during instruction (J. L. Pierson, 2008). Although responsive teaching is gaining recognition as an effective strategy for encouraging student learning, few methods of analysis are capable of characterizing the different ways in which teachers take up their students ideas in the moment. This article presents and exemplifies a new methodological construct, the redirection, which provides researchers with a means of detecting nuanced differences in how teachers respond to their students' thinking. The redirection construct emerged via systematic discourse analysis of 1 science teacher's classroom discussions during 3 implementations of an inquiry-based module on the water cycle. Redirections are defined as instances when a teacher invites students to shift or redirect their attention to a new locus. Such shifts reflect different types of teacher responsiveness and, as such, can be used to capture the different ways in which teachers take up their students' ideas. This article presents a comprehensive coding scheme for the redirection, in addition to segments of classroom discourse to exemplify each redirection coding category. A comparison of 3 5th-grade teachers using the construct provides an illustrative example of the type of analysis such a coding scheme affords learning sciences researchers."