id: 02348430
dt: j
an: 2002f.04823
au: Sherin, Miriam Gamoran
ti: A balancing act: Developing a discourse community in a mathematics
classroom.
so: J. Math. Teach. Educ. 5, No. 3, 205-233 (2002).
py: 2002
pu: Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
la: EN
cc: C53
ut: student-centred discourse; teacher cognition
ci:
li: doi:10.1023/A:1020134209073
ab: This article examines the pedagogical tensions involved in trying to use
students’ ideas as the basis for class discussion while also ensuring
that discussion is productive mathematically. The data for this study
of the teaching of one middle-school teacher come from observations and
videotapes of instruction across a school year as well as interviews
with the participating teacher. Specifically, the article describes the
teacher’s attempts to support a student-centered process of
mathematical discourse and, at the same time, facilitate discussions of
significant mathematical content. The tension in teaching was not
easily resolved; throughout the school year the teacher shifted his
emphasis between maintaining the process and the content of the
classroom discourse. Nevertheless, at times, the teacher balanced these
competing goals by using a ’filtering approach’ to classroom
discourse. First multiple ideas are solicited from students to
facilitate the process of student-centered mathematical discourse.
Students are encouraged to elaborate their thinking, and to compare and
evaluate their ideas with those that have already been suggested. Then,
to bring the content to the fore, the teacher filters the ideas,
focusing students’ attention on a subset of the mathematical ideas
that have been raised. Finally, the teacher encourages student-centered
discourse about these ideas, thus maintaining a balance between process
and content.
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