14 SES 12 A JS, Mathematics for All: Interactive and Dialogic Strategies to Success in Primary Mathematics
Symposium Joint Session NW 14 with NW 24
We seek to identify actions that may be regarded as structural elements of teachers’ classroom practice in whole class discussions and to know how these actions may provide fruitful learning opportunities for students when the teacher follows an exploratory approach (Ponte, 2005; Ruthven, 1989). In this approach, the teacher proposes tasks for which students do not have an immediate solution method. This supports students in building or deepening their understanding of concepts, representations, procedures, and mathematical connections as they actively interpret the tasks, represent the information, and design and implement solving strategies, which they have to present and justify to their colleagues. The study stands on a framework that focuses on two key elements of teaching practice (Ponte, Branco & Quaresma, 2014): the tasks that the teachers propose to their students and the way they handle classroom communication. Tasks are appraised concerning their level of challenge. Drawing on a framework based in Cengiz, Kline and Grant (2011), we classify teachers’ actions in discussions as informing/suggesting, guiding, and challenging. The methodology is qualitative with data collected from video recording of a grade 5 class that was studying rational numbers. The analysis of classroom episodes with different agendas, such as providing students opportunities for learning about representations, concepts, connections, and procedures and for developing reasoning, suggests that some degree of challenge promotes fruitful learning situations. Challenging actions were particularly noticeable in the beginning of segments in which the teacher asked the students about different representations or prompted the establishment of connections, generalizations and justifications. In counterpart, guiding and informing/suggesting actions were most prominent in segments involving the introduction of new concepts and procedures. We conclude that challenging situations usually require preparation and follow-up with guiding and informing/suggesting actions so that the students can learn what has been set in the teacher’s agenda.
Cengiz, N., Kline, K., & Grant, T. J. (2011). Extending students’ mathematical thinking during whole-group discussions. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 14, 355–374. Ponte, J. P. (2005). Gestão curricular em Matemática. In GTI (Ed.), O professor e o desenvolvimento curricular (pp. 11-34). Lisboa: APM. Ponte, J. P., Branco, N., & Quaresma, M. (2014). Exploratory activity in the mathematics classroom. In Y. L. e. al. (Ed.), Transforming mathematics instruction: Multiple approaches and practices. Dordrecht: Springer. Ruthven, K. (1989). An exploratory approach to advanced mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 20, 449-467.
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