Building on student mathematical thinking in whole-class discourse: exploring teachers' in-the-moment decision-making, interpretation, and underlying conceptions release_rlt5wh2q3jbzrhzcqnwldplduy

by Chris Kooloos, Helma Oolbekkink-Marchand, Saskia van Boven, Rainer Kaenders, Gert Heckman

Published in Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education by Springer Science and Business Media LLC.



<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title>Often, mathematics teachers do not incorporate whole-class discourse of students' various ideas and solution methods into their teaching practice. Particularly complex is the in-the-moment decision-making that is necessary to build on students' thinking and develop their collective construction of mathematics. This study explores the decision-making patterns of five experienced Dutch mathematics teachers during their novice attempts at orchestrating whole-class discourse concerning students' various solution methods. Our goal has been to unpack the complexity of their in-the-moment decision-making during whole-class discourse through lesson observations and stimulated recall interviews. We investigated teacher decision-making adopting a model that combines two perspectives, namely (1) we explored student-teacher interaction with regard to building on student thinking and (2) we explored how the teachers based decisions during such interaction upon their own personal conceptions and interpretation of student thinking. During these novice attempts at orchestrating whole-class discourse, the teachers created many situations for students to articulate their thinking. We found that at certain instances, teachers' in-the-moment decision-making resulted in opportunities to build on student thinking that were not completely seized. During such instances, the teachers' decision-making was shaped by the teachers' own conceptions of the relevant mathematics and by teacher conceptions that centered around student understanding and mathematical goals. Our findings suggest that teachers might be supported in their novice attempts at whole-class discourse by explicit discussion of the mathematics and of their conceptions with regard to student understanding and mathematical goals.
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Date   2021-05-28
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