ERIC Number: ED394787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
The Context of Community: The Initiation of Graduate Students into the Discourse of Mathematics Education Researchers.
Bunch, Susan Malone
This study focused on four students and a professor from a mathematics education doctoral program at a research university. Participant observation, informal interviews, and document collection were used to collect data on students' discourse competency development. Two overarching categories emerged during data analysis: (1) what students had to learn in order to be competent in their discipline's discourse (identified initially as the conversations and conventions to the discipline); and (2) how the students developed these competencies, beginning with the specific learning opportunities each student had and generalizing from those to more abstract categories such as exposure, practice, feedback, and the effects of mentoring. One of the most important things these students came to recognize was the conversational nature of the discourse they were attempting to learn. The students learned to produce the discourse of the mathematics education research community through several important experiences: (1) the exposure to the products of the professional conversation; (2) the exposure to the process of conversation; (3) the opportunities to try the discourse and get feedback on their attempts to use it; and (4) the occasional explicit instruction in producing acceptable written discourse--all under the guiding hand of a mentor who was an active, influential member of the community. (MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).