Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Erin M. Furtak

Second Advisor

Melissa Braaten

Third Advisor

William Penuel

Fourth Advisor

Victoria Hand

Fifth Advisor

Cathy Regan


The most recent science education reform, the Next Generation Science Standards (NRC, 2012) set forth a new and ambitious agenda for science education. These standards go beyond all of the previous versions and combine three dimensions: disciplinary core ideas, science practices and crosscutting concepts. They call on teachers to recognizing and build on the ideas students have when they arrive at school. While recognizing student ideas as resources that can be built on is not necessarily a new idea, it is not a familiar practice for teachers. For teachers to engage in activity focused on student ideas as resources, they will need professional learning opportunities that can support them in taking up a resource based view of student ideas as well as tools and routines to support this work. This dissertation explores how researchers can design tools to support teacher activity oriented toward student thinking to inform instruction as well as how the tools mediate teacher activity. I explore answers to these questions through two embedded cases studies which take a close look at physics teacher workgroup activity in two school. While there are not any one-size-fits-all answers to these questions, my findings suggest that we can support teachers in activity oriented toward student thinking with well designed facilitation protocols, frameworks of student thinking, artifacts of student thinking and interpretive frameworks.