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ERIC Number: EJ815183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
ISSN: ISSN-1098-6065
Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions: Five Practices for Helping Teachers Move beyond Show and Tell
Stein, Mary Kay; Engle, Randi A.; Smith, Margaret S.; Hughes, Elizabeth K.
Mathematical Thinking and Learning: An International Journal, v10 n4 p313-340 Oct 2008
Teachers who attempt to use inquiry-based, student-centered instructional tasks face challenges that go beyond identifying well-designed tasks and setting them up appropriately in the classroom. Because solution paths are usually not specified for these kinds of tasks, students tend to approach them in unique and sometimes unanticipated ways. Teachers must not only strive to understand how students are making sense of the task but also begin to align students' disparate ideas and approaches with canonical understandings about the nature of mathematics. Research suggests that this is difficult for most teachers (Ball, 1993, 2001; Leinhardt & Steele, 2005; Schoenfeld, 1998; Sherin, 2002). In this article, we present a pedagogical model that specifies five key practices teachers can learn to use student responses to such tasks more effectively in discussions: anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and making connections between student responses. We first define each practice, showing how a typical discussion based on a cognitively challenging task could be improved through their use. We then explain how the five practices embody current theory about how to support students' productive disciplinary engagement. Finally, we close by discussing how these practices can make discussion-based pedagogy manageable for more teachers. (Contains 2 figures, 1 table, and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED544189