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ERIC Number: EJ1095301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-5984
Learning to Leverage Student Thinking: What Novice Approximations Teach Us about Ambitious Practice
Singer-Gabella, Marcy; Stengel, Barbara; Shahan, Emily; Kim, Min-Joung
Elementary School Journal, v116 n3 p411-436 Mar 2016
Central to ambitious teaching is a constellation of practices we have come to call "leveraging student thinking." In leveraging, teachers position students' understanding and reasoning as a central means to drive learning forward. While leveraging typically is described as a feature of mature practice, in this article we examine approximations of leveraging as enacted by elementary teachers who are just beginning their careers. In addition to providing an existence proof that novices can leverage when teaching elementary mathematics, the analysis surfaces and illustrates four pressure points--epistemic, academic, developmental, and managerial--that can short-circuit the development of novices' efforts. Our framing of these pressure points both spotlights the complex dynamics at play, and establishes an agenda for supporting the development of this practice: learning to leverage student thinking is a challenging and long-term endeavor, rather than a routine easily acquired.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A