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Book: Micro-Reflection on Classroom Communication

Chapter: Foster an Inviting Environment

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.35452


Fostering an inviting environment is a baseline requirement that enables productive learning, which expert teachers accomplish effortlessly. Using a great variety of transcripts from actual classroom interaction that capture a full range of interactional details, this chapter takes the readers through a four-stage process of developing an ability to engage in micro-reflection on fostering an inviting environment. (1) What we do offers a guided reading of how such an inviting environment may be created--not by lavishing perfunctory praise, but through the four practices of validating student contributions, favoring student potentials, neutralizing asymmetries, and promoting exploratory talk. (2) What we use leads the readers through a forensic examination of the specific features of talk, gesture, and environment drawn upon to enable the aforementioned practices. (3) What we notice offers a series of exercises that invite the readers to identify practices and their enabling features in another set of transcripts and in their own teaching. (4) What we practice provides a list of practical tasks for the readers to complete both during their teaching and as they consider recordings and observations of their own and others’ teaching with a focus on the practices and enabling features that foster an inviting environment.

Chapter Contributors

  • Hansun Waring ( - hwaring) 'Teachers College, Columbia University'
  • Sarah Creider ( - screider) 'New York University'