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ERIC Number: EJ1136679
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1098-6065
Classroom Interactions around Problem Contexts and Task Authenticity in Middle School Mathematics
Wernet, Jamie L. W.
Mathematical Thinking and Learning: An International Journal, v19 n2 p69-94 2017
It has been theorized that contextual tasks support student engagement and sense making. Yet, contradictory ideas exist about the role of these tasks in lessons, and further research is needed to explore how classroom interactions can help achieve their intended purposes. Through video observation of lessons in three eighth-grade classrooms using a problem-based curriculum, I investigated how teachers and students interact around problem contexts in written tasks. I found that they discussed contexts in multiple ways, falling into five general categories: referencing, positioning, elaborating, clarifying, and meta-level commentary. Using this framework, I considered how interactions around contexts related to the authenticity of tasks as written and enacted (Palm, 2006). In several lessons, these interactions led to higher authenticity as enacted than as written. These results offer a framework for interpreting context-related classroom interactions and suggest implications for instruction and research on the role contexts might play in mathematics lessons.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 8; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A