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Harvard Graduate School of Education

Instructional Moves: Making Classroom Discussions More Inclusive and Effective

Jun 17—Jul 1
USD 149

How it works


Learn high-leverage Instructional Moves to make your classroom discussions more inclusive, student-centered, and purposeful.


Engagement. Equity. Purpose. Good classroom discussions at any level of education consider all of these elements -- and more. Effective facilitators guide discussions, position students’ thinking at the center of the conversation, and find creative ways to incorporate more student voices into the mix.

A growing body of research demonstrates the importance of student-centered discussions in classrooms. Nevertheless, facilitating such discussions is easier said than done. Ensuring classroom exchanges that consistently achieve inclusivity and engage students poses many challenges, particularly for early-stage professors, graduate students, and K-12 practitioners.

Instructional Moves: Making Classroom Discussions More Inclusive and Effective, a two-week online workshop from Professional Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, builds on the resources delivered by Instructional Moves, an HGSE project that promotes high-leverage teaching strategies. Featuring video examples of instruction by Harvard faculty, the course offers instructors a roadmap for strengthening classroom discussions, new insights that can help them match teaching strategies – or “moves” – to specific discussion scenarios, and opportunities to learn from Instructional Moves experts and fellow course participants.

Program Details This two-week online workshop includes self-paced learning, online discussion, and exposure to a variety of faculty and classroom settings. Activities include:

  • Videos that combine classroom footage, instructor insights, and student reflections
  • Readings
  • Research summaries
  • Written reflections
  • Facilitated online discussions
  • Live instructional support
  • Opportunities for real-time practice and reflection

A core part of the HGSE experience is cohort learning, and this curriculum is designed to create a community of practice for participants to learn with and from each other.

The online workshop will require a total of 5-7 hours of work. Participants who complete all individual assessments and contribute to group discussions will receive a certificate indicating completion of five clock hours of instruction.


  • Integrate into practice Instructional Moves – high-leverage teaching strategies – that foster productive and inclusive student-centered classroom discussions
  • Develop a deeper understanding of available research on the topic of student-centered discussions and how this research can inform and refine teaching practices
  • Learn to challenge existing assumptions around classroom discussion leadership, especially when it comes to the role of the teacher
  • Reflect on ways to identify Instructional Moves that encourage students from all backgrounds to find their voices and more fully shape the direction of group discussions
  • Learn to afford students greater ownership discussions

Who should attend

  • Instructors from higher education levels interested in leading more inclusive and effective discussions
  • Graduate students ready to enter the job market
  • K-12 instructors interested in translating higher education practices into their contexts


Meira Levinson is a normative political philosopher who writes about civic education, multiculturalism, youth empowerment, and educational ethics. In doing so, she draws upon scholarship from multiple disciplines as well as her eight years of experience teaching in the Atlanta and Boston Public S...
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