This study utilized a multiple case study with qualitative research to examine how Pre-service teachers (PSTs) might engage Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) in productive struggle—grappling to solve problems (Warshauer, 2015). The researchers created a rubric based on Warshauer’s (2015) case study to record the types of questions PSTs asked as they tutored fourth grade EBs. Warshauer (2015) claimed PSTs should allow students more wait time and ask questions. She referred to such questions as affordance and probing guidance, which facilitates productive struggle. In order to discover more about the PSTs’ thinking, the researchers interviewed the PSTs before and after their first, third, and seventh lesson. The researchers’ findings are that the PSTs struggled to incorporate more affordance and probing guidance-based questions as the semester progressed. However, PSTs use of telling based questions decreased during the semester. Another finding was two of the EBs spoke only English at the beginning of the semester, but later used code switching during the lessons. Perhaps the students felt more comfortable with their surroundings, and speaking in Spanish helped facilitate them to engage in productive struggle. Furthermore, PSTs utilized culturally relevant teaching strategies during their lessons and created an environment to encourage positive mindsets for learning mathematics. Implications are teacher educators should teach PSTs how to engage all students in productive struggle.



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