The Agenda

My research focuses on learning through dialogue. There are two core issues that drive my research:

  1. understanding the complex social reality of the learning through dialogue in situ
  2. leveraging these insights to design better learning environments

At the center of these issues is the overarching principle that we need to understand the conditions under which *most* learners (especially those of the greatest need) learn. We need to understand how educational inequities are constructed, produced and reproduced, in order to develop approaches and supports for teaching and learning that can advance educational equity.

Far too many studies have documented that the problem of educational equity is a problem of who has access to the content, instruction and learning opportunities that can increase learning outcomes in the short-term, and make a difference on life chances in the long-term (e.g., Oakes et al, 1990; Silver & Stein, 1996). In my research I have been examining the ways in which "access" is structured at the micro-level, in interactions. My goal is to understand the learning experiences of historically and contemporarily underserved learners, and their teachers, to design for disrupting the reproduction of social inequality.


THEME: Social dimensions of talk as a form of learning

Enablers and Barriers to Engaging in Accountable Talk Science Discussions

Series of ethnographic studies of dialogic science discussions, examining the relationship between students' perceptions and their patterns of engagement in science discussions over time.


Clarke, S. N., Howley, I., Resnick, L. B., Rosé, C.P. (2016) Student agency to participate in dialogic science discussions. In J. Arnold, A. Rajala, and K. Kumpulainen (Eds.), [Special Issue] Agency and learning: Researching agency in educational interactions. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction.

Clarke, S. N. (2015) The Right to Speak. In L.B. Resnick, C.A. Asterhan & S.N. Clarke (Eds.) Socializing Intelligence through Academic Talk and Dialogue. Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association.

Clarke, S.N., Howley, I., Rosé, C.P., & Resnick, L.B. (2013) Understanding Student Engagement in Classroom Dialogue. Symposium presentation at the 2013 Biannual Meeting of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Munich, Germany.

Social Inclusion in Museums (doctoral study)

In my doctoral research, I examined the informal learning experiences of recent immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to the UK. Framed within social and educational policy designed to support social inclusion of the most vulnerable populations of learners, I examined the experiences of social exclusion post-migration of the cohort and the ways in which engaging in informal learning in museums impacted this process. [The findings show the ways in which learning identities are constructed and co-constructed in conversational interaction]


Clarke, S.N. (2013) Adult Migrants and English Language Learning in Museums: Understanding the Impact on Social Inclusion. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh, UK.

Clarke, S.N. (2012) Discursive Engagement as the Collaborative Construction of Self. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada.

Clarke, S.N. (2011) The Right to Speak: Migrants leveraging linguistic capital through informal learning. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association annual meeting, London, UK.

Clarke, S. N. (2010) Museums for language learning? The transformational learning experiences of adult immigrants learning English in museums in Scotland. In B. Merrill and J.G. Monteagudo (Eds.) Educational Journeys and Changing Lives (Vol. 1, pp. 254-264) Seville: European Society for Research on the Education of Adults.

Clarke, S. N. (2010). Language Learning for Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers. In G. Farnell (Ed.), The New Museum Community: Audiences, Challenges and Benefits. Edinburgh: Museums Etc.

THEME: Supporting Teacher Learning about Talk

Talkways: Examining and Supporting Teachers' Pedagogical Reasoning in Science Discussions 

Design study of teachers' pedagogical reasoning and action in science discussions. We are using this set of investigations to design an educational technology for teacher learning about how to facilitate science discussions - to help bridge the gap between teacher learning and instructional practice in complex social settings (e.g., classrooms).

Clarke, S. N., Gerritsen, D., Grainger, R. & Ogan, A. (2016) Uncovering Teachers’ Pedagogical Reasoning in Science Discussions. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.

Supporting and Examining Teacher Growth in Facilitating Accountable Talk Science Discussions

A series of longitudinal studies on the quality and nature of a science teachers' trajectory of change and growth in discursive teaching in urban high school science.


Clarke, S. N., Chen, G., Stainton, C., Katz, S., Greeno, J. G., Resnick, L. B., . . . Rosé, C. P. (2013). The Impact of CSCL Beyond the Online Environment. In N. Rummel, M. Kapur, M. Nathan & S. Puntambekar (Eds.), To See the World and a Grain of Sand: Learning across Levels of Space, Time, and Scale: CSCL 2013 (Vol. 1, pp. 105-112). Madison, WI: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Classroom Discourse Analyzer 

Development and field test of a technology for teacher reflection discussion facilitation that leverages learning analytics to provide teachers with feedback on their own discussion facilitation practices.


Chen, G., Clarke, S. N. & Resnick, L. B. (2015) Classroom discourse analyzer: A discourse analytic tool for teachers. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning.

Clarke, S. N., Chen, G., Bickel, D. D., Sherer, J. Z. & Resnick, L. B. (2015) Through the Looking Glass: Using a Classroom Discourse Visualizer to Support Teacher Reflection on Practice. In Lindwall, O., Häkkinen, P., Koschman, T. Tchounikine, P. & Ludvigsen, S. (Eds.) Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning: The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference 2015 (Vol. 2, pp. 828-830). Gothenburg, Sweden: The International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Chen, G., Clarke, S. N., & Resnick, L. B. (2014). An Analytic Tool for Supporting Teachers' Reflection on Classroom Talk. In J. L. Polman, E. A. Kyza, D. K. O'Neill, I. Tabak, W. R. Penuel, A. S. Jurow, K. O'Connor, T. Lee & L. D'Amico (Eds.), Learning and becoming in practice: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2014 (Vol. 1, pp. 583-590). Boulder, CO: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Clarke, S.N., Chen, G. & Resnick, L.B. (June, 2014) Classroom Discourse Analyzer: Leveraging Discourse Analytics for Teacher Learning. Poster presented at the 3rd Workshop on Intelligent Support for Learning in Groups at the 12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Honolulu, HI.