Collaborative mechanistic reasoning: A proposed mechanism for learning in interactive instruction
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A large body of research supports the positive impact of interactive instruction on student learning. The mechanism for this increased student learning, however, is less well understood. We propose collaborative mechanistic reasoning as a possible mechanism for this enhanced learning (McDermott, Shaffer, & University of Washington Physics Education Group, 2002; V. Otero, Pollock, & Finkelstein, 2010). In this research, we analyze video episodes of small group work during weekly LA preparation sessions, using a discourse analysis framework developed by Russ et al. (2008) to identify elements of mechanistic reasoning. This framework allows us to identify episodes of high-level mechanistic reasoning in LA discussion. In our analysis, we are focused on the highest level of mechanistic reasoning, chaining. We look closely at when and how LAs engage in collaborative chaining throughout their group work.