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Spoken mathematics as a distinguishing characteristics of mathematics classrooms in different countries
conference contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by D Clarke, Lihua XuLihua Xu
This paper reports research into the occurrence of spoken mathematics in some well-taught classrooms in Australia, China (both Shanghai and Hong Kong), Japan, Korea and the USA. The analysis distinguished one classroom from another on the basis of public “oral interactivity” (the number of utterances in whole class and teacher-student interactions in each lesson) and “mathematical orality” (the frequency of occurrence of key mathematical terms in each lesson). Our concern in this analysis was to document the opportunity provided to students for the oral articulation of the relatively sophisticated mathematical terms that formed the conceptual content of the lesson. Classrooms characterized by high public oral interactivity were not necessarily sites of high mathematical orality. The contribution of student-student conversations also varied significantly. Of particular interest are the different learning theories implicit in the role accorded to spoken mathematics in each classroom.