In the era of the Common Core, teachers in all subject areas and grade levels are seeking ways to help students engage with and reflect on the meaning of texts. In Interpretive Discussion, Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon guides teachers through a carefully refined process for preparing, leading, and reflecting on these powerful conversations and discusses the skills and habits of mind that underlie this approach. Using detailed case studies, she identifies patterns and practises that support effective discussion leadership; explains how to choose a suitable text; provides guidelines for anticipating and preparing questions; and shows how students' skills develop over time.
Far from being reserved for elite or gifted students, interpretive discussion is an approach that can - and should - be used in any classroom where teachers seek to strengthen the relationships and skills that can transform student learning.
Sophie Haroutunian-Gordon is a professor of education and social policy and the director of the Master of Science in Education Program at Northwestern University. Sharon Feiman-Nemser is Mandel Professor of Jewish Education, Brandeis University.