Primary teachers notice the impact of language on children’s mathematical reasoning

Bragg, Leicha, Herbert, Sandra, Loong, Yook-Kin, Vale, Colleen and Widjaja, Wanty 2016, Primary teachers notice the impact of language on children’s mathematical reasoning, Mathematics education research journal, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 523-544, doi: 10.1007/s13394-016-0178-y.

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Title Primary teachers notice the impact of language on children’s mathematical reasoning
Author(s) Bragg, LeichaORCID iD for Bragg, Leicha
Herbert, SandraORCID iD for Herbert, Sandra
Loong, Yook-KinORCID iD for Loong, Yook-Kin
Vale, ColleenORCID iD for Vale, Colleen
Widjaja, WantyORCID iD for Widjaja, Wanty
Journal name Mathematics education research journal
Volume number 28
Issue number 4
Start page 523
End page 544
Total pages 22
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-12
ISSN 1033-2170
Keyword(s) language
primary mathematics
mathematical terminology
Summary Mathematical reasoning is now featured in the mathematics curriculum documents of many nations, but this necessitates changes to teaching practice and hence a need for professional learning. The development of children’s mathematical reasoning requires appropriate encouragement and feedback from their teacher who can only do this if they recognise mathematical reasoning in children’s actions and words. As part of a larger study, we explored whether observation of educators conducting mathematics lessons can develop teachers’ sensitivity in noticing children’s reasoning and consideration of how to support reasoning. In the Mathematical Reasoning Professional Learning Research Program, demonstration lessons were conducted in Australian and Canadian primary classrooms. Data sources included post-lesson group discussions. Observation of demonstration lessons and engagement in post-lesson discussions proved to be effective vehicles for developing a professional eye for noticing children’s individual and whole-class reasoning. In particular, the teachers noticed that children struggled to employ mathematical language to communicate their reasoning and viewed limitations in language as a major barrier to increasing the use of mathematical reasoning in their classrooms. Given the focus of teachers’ noticing of the limitations in some types of mathematical language, it seems that targeted support is required for teachers to facilitate classroom discourse for reasoning.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s13394-016-0178-y
Field of Research 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
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