ACESSE Resource G: Learning to See the Resources Students Bring to Sense-Making

In this workshop, we will build our capacity to identify the range of intellectual resources students use as they make sense of phenomena. Every learner has the right to fully belong in their educational contexts. Instruction should welcome the diverse contributions they bring to sense-making. This resource can help support this goal by helping educators develop an asset-based stance towards the various contributions that students bring to making sense of phenomena. The resource starts by highlighting the rationale for culture-based approaches to pedagogy—and then focuses on how to identify and leverage the resources students use in moments of sensemaking. This learning experience will help participants:

Link to PowerPoint File Version

Link to Open Educational Resource Version (on OER Commons)

Link to Facilitator’s Guide for this Resource

One-Page Description of this Resource (PDF)

Recording of this Professional Development Session

This workshop provides participants with an opportunity to explore important theoretical ideas by exploring examples of how learners engage in diverse sense-making. Participants will learn about some of the challenges that less expansive learning environments can cause for learners from non-dominant communities. This resource is estimated to take between 250-300 minutes (4 - 5 hours), depending on the choices of the facilitator in scenario selection. It can be used to support a full day of professional development; it has also been run as a one-hour "quick overview".

This resource is an open educational resource (OER) and can be freely shared, modified, and used. This resource is brought to you by the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE, or “access”) project. It has been developed with guidance from science education experts from across 13 states to make it as broadly useful as possible. You can follow the work of the ACESSE project on Twitter.

Preferred citation: Bell, P., Bang, M., Suárez, E., Morrison, D., Tesoriero, G. & Kaupp, L. (2019). Learning to See the Resources Students Bring to Sense-Making. [OER Professional Development Session from the ACESSE Project] Retrieved from