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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Martina Nieswandt

Second Advisor

Elizabeth McEneaney

Third Advisor

Sarah Michaels

Fourth Advisor

Michael Krezmien

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Despite decades of research on the type of classroom dialogue that supports collaborative student sensemaking and professional development efforts to support such dialogue, opportunities for students to incrementally deepen their understanding of science ideas through engagement in science practices and to engage in complex reasoning and argumentation through classroom talk is limited in most K-12 science classrooms (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000; Lemke, 1990; Michaels, Shouse, & Schweingruber, 2008; Mortimer & Scott, 2003; C. O’Connor, Michaels, & Chapin, 2015; Reinsvold & Cochran, 2011; Scott, Mortimer, & Aguiar, 2006; Weiss, Pasley, Smith., Banilower, and Heck, 2003; Wilson, Schweingruber, & Nielsen, 2015). In order to address the bigger question of how to prepare PD Leaders to support the knowledge and enactment of new discourse practices, I used the framework of Academically Productive Talk (APT) and examined the discourse practices used by Lead Facilitators as they prepare Teacher Leaders to enact PD focused on APT. I then examined the discourse practices used by those Teacher Leaders as they enacted the PD with their teacher colleagues. Analysis revealed that, similar to the Lead Facilitators, Teacher Leaders at both Bayedge and Lakecastle used APT moves at a high rate and used the conceptual and pedagogical goals of the discussion to guide their use of those moves in discussions that were characterized by high levels of participant to participant interaction and co-construction. Moves where the Teacher Leaders were guiding the discussion by synthesizing ideas and naming the ideas they want the group to attend to were unequally taken up indicating further work is needed in supporting Teacher Leaders with moves that can support idea development while at the same time ensuring that the Teachers are doing the sensemaking. Greater attention around specific moves designed to support idea development by synthesizing the discussion along the way may support Teacher Leaders in more readily taking up those moves. Engaging in the PD themselves as learners and providing opportunities to reflect on those experiences in order to deepen content understanding, understand the goals of each activity, and to develop a culture that supports adult learners appears to be important in this preparation of Teacher Leaders to lead PD on APT.