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ERIC Number: EJ1060416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Mathematical Conversations to Transform Algebra Class
Szydlik, Jennifer Earles
Mathematics Teacher, v108 n9 p656-661 May 2015
Classroom culture is established through both conversations and practices. Traditionally in mathematics class, the focus is primarily on the latter; that is, students are shown what "doing mathematics" looks like, and then asked that they try it themselves. This article discusses three mathematical conversations that help bring covert--and often ineffectual--meanings into the light and build understanding as a community. This conversational process, sometimes called "interrogating meaning," allows students to make explicit their assumptions about how, when, and for what purpose a mathematical notation, representation, or term is used (Rosebery et al. 2005). In other words, these conversations can help students recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their own interpretations and give them agency in changing them. Further, these conversations allow teachers a window into students' thinking.
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: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A