- Students discussing their mathematical ideas: the role of the teacher
- Mathematics Education Research Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
This article adds to current research on enhancing student discourse in mathematics teaching specifically in secondary schools but with equal relevance to elementary schools. Three mathematics teachers in secondary education were confronted with the question of how to encourage students to discuss their work with each other in the daily practice of their mathematical lessons. In response to this question the teachers devised three different approaches to encourage student discourse. One of the teachers chose to experiment with another setting to perform mathematical tasks that involved students working together on a group test. The second teacher experimented with a new kind of help when students were working on their maths tasks and asked for assistance. The third created a new setting in which the teacher (temporarily) did not provide mathematical hints and the students had to solve their own problems. The three teachers were very motivated, but they all had difficulties in not giving explanations themselves when supporting their students in their collaborative mathematical learning. They found that temporarily diminishing their product help stimulated discussion between students. It also became clear that the process of teacher reflection and follow-up discussions with the researcher/observers promoted changes of practice.
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