ERIC Number: ED355119
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Learning To Attend to Students' Mathematical Thinking: Case Study of a Collaboration. Elementary Subjects Center Series, No. 79.
Putnam, Ralph T.; Reineke, James W.
Recent calls for reform in mathematics education suggest students must learn to recognize mathematical elements in situations, flexibly apply appropriate mathematical tools, and engage in mathematical reasoning. These things suggest teachers must make their students' thinking a prominent part of their classroom instruction; they must make their students thinking public. In this report the authors describe the efforts of two university researchers and one teacher to make students' thinking public in a combination fourth- and fifth-grade classroom. Through a series of student interviews, classroom activities carried out by all three participants, and an instructional unit on fractions taught by the teacher, they explored ways in which teachers could make their students' thinking public. From their work in this classroom they found students were accustomed to a way of doing school mathematics that included specific norms of interaction. The students expected these norms to characterize classroom discussions and struggled with the changes the participants tried to make. In addition, other issues became important during the participants' time in this classroom. The open-ended discussions they encouraged took a large amount of time and raised questions for the teacher about the importance of developing understanding over covering the content. The changes advocated involved fundamental rethinking of assumptions and beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning. Finally, their work in this classroom caused all three to struggle with their roles as collaborators, researchers, and change agents. (Author)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Case Studies, Change Agents, Classroom Communication, College School Cooperation, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Educational Change, Elementary School Mathematics, Grade 4, Grade 5, Instructional Improvement, Intermediate Grades, Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Thinking Skills, Verbal Communication
Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, Institute for Research on Teaching, 252 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($3).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.