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ERIC Number: EJ1177931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Angling for Students' Mathematical Agency
Martínez, José Manuel; Ramírez, Laura
Teaching Children Mathematics, v24 n7 p424-431 May 2018
When the focus of instruction is on learning to use mathematical tools--such as a ruler or a calculator--as a procedure, students tend not to incorporate their own mathematical reasoning. This unreflective use of tools hinders students' questioning of the reasonableness of their answers. This article describes how children expressed their mathematical agency by challenging the knowledge authority of a mathematical tool: the protractor. The first author--a researcher in the classroom--and the second author--the classroom teacher--encouraged students' critique of the traditional protractor. Students expressed mathematical agency by (1) challenging the protractor's effectiveness in helping them measure angles and (2) by imagining an alternative tool. The students did not build their imagined tool. Instead they used their imagined alternative tool to help them better understand how to use a conventional protractor. The authors first define student mathematical agency as an important component of student learning experience. Then they describe how students' initial use of a traditional tool presented an opportunity to foster the expression of their mathematical agency. Then they illustrate how in turn, the expression of their mathematical agency helped students critically consider the traditional tool to make sense of it.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 4
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A