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ERIC Number: EJ1059588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Moving Students to "The Why?"
Cioe, Michael; King, Sherryl; Ostien, Deborah; Pansa, Nancy; Staples, Megan
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v20 n8 p484-491 Apr 2015
Justification is a critical mathematical practice that must play a role in teaching and learning at all grade levels. Having students share their reasoning and explain how they know something is true or correct is the process of justification. The authors (a team of teachers and researchers) worked together for two years with an NSF-funded project called "Justification and Argumentation: Growing Understanding of Algebraic Reasoning" (JAGUAR). The goal was to better understand what it takes to support students' engagement in justification in middle school mathematics classrooms. The authors implemented three justification tasks, reflected on the enactment of the tasks, and collaborated around problems of practice. They introduced three elements of justification to help students: (1) understand what it means to justify; (2) learn what makes a good justification; and (3) generate initial ideas, and then develop those into a justification. Strategies to assist students included: use of a rubric to guide their work or co-developed with students based on conversations about class work; developing an understanding of a "good" justification with samples; helping students learn what makes a good justification with setting goals for lessons. Justifying may be new for many students, yet, those understanding the process of justification learn they are not only interconnected and lasting but also allow knowledge to continually be developed, revised, and extended.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL 0814829