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Speaker Series: Dr. Hala Ghousseini, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Studying Teacher Sensemaking in the Context of Problems of Practice

Abstract: It has become common place in teacher professional development to engage teachers in reflections on problems of practice. Teachers’ reflective dialogue around problems of professional practice is seen as offering opportunities for learning, in, from, and for practice. Additionally, researchers seem to associate pedagogically productive talk with teacher collaborative discourse that centers on tensions and issues that emerge in their classrooms. However, empirical research on the nature of teacher learning in the context of their sensemaking about problems of practice is sporadic, lacking theoretical and methodological clarity. In my talk, I use the context of a job-embedded professional development with elementary teachers to discuss issues of design, theory, and methodology in investigating teacher learning through their sensemaking about problems of practice.

Bio: Dr. Hala Ghousseini is the John Grover Harvey Professor of Math Education and associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her scholarship focuses on understanding how teachers learn complex interactive practice and how the designs of professional education can support them in developing knowledge, skills, and commitments that center students as sensemakers and resist oppressive practices. Her work is also concerned with supporting practitioners to learn collaboratively in the contexts of their own work.