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ERIC Number: EJ780289
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0749-4025
Developing an Understanding of the Mediating Role of Talk in the Elementary Mathematics Classroom
Brown, Raymond; Hirst, Elizabeth
Journal of Classroom Interaction, v41 n2, v42 n1 p18-28 2007
Classroom talk is regarded as essential in engaging and developing student understandings in the domain of mathematics. The processes of classroom talk may occur in quite different ways, ways that shape particular opportunities for learning mathematics. Little is known about how the talk produced in innovative approaches to education mediates the teaching/learning process and promotes student engagement in the practices of mathematics. Situated within a larger study that employed multiple forms of data collection to determine whether a sociocultural approach to teaching and learning could be employed by a sample of teachers to enrich the teaching and learning of mathematics, this paper examines how two teachers used talk to scaffold student learning and how this talk provided students with different opportunities for learning. In the analyses of talk produced in Year 7 classrooms we use Renshaw and Brown's (in press) discourse characterizations to make visible how different forms of talk were being used in the classrooms as thinking devices and as means to explain and generate understanding. We also employ Bakhtin's notion of "voice" to consider whether the formats of talk used in each classroom facilitate learning in the domain of mathematics. We conclude that the intentional and reflective use of classroom talk affords students a range of opportunities to develop their mathematical thinking and to facilitate engagement with the practices of mathematics. (Contains 2 figures.)
University of Houston, College of Education. 442 Farish Hall, Houston, TX 77204-5026. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Houston Univ., TX. Coll. of Education.
Identifiers - Location: Australia