The Role of Whole-Class Conversations in Supporting Early Elementary Students’ Engineering Design Sense-Making

We consider how intentionally planned and facilitated whole-class conversations can “make space” for students’ sense-making about engineering problems and solutions and position them with epistemic authority to contribute to collective thinking. We conducted a case study on a first-grade engineering lesson that included whole-class Idea Generation and Design Synthesis Talks. We found students sense-making as they refined their design proposals and analyses in light of classmates’ contributions to the whole-class conversations.

Wendell, K., Andrews, C., & Watkins, J., & Malinowski, M. (2023). The role of whole-class conversations in supporting early elementary students’ engineering design sense-making. Presented at 2023 International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Montreal, June 2023.