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ERIC Number: EJ861145
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
The Power of Incorrect Answers
Hoffman, Brittany L.; Breyfogle, M. Lynn; Dressler, Jason A.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v15 n4 p232-238 Nov 2009
Mathematical argumentation is an important skill. It leads to the process of proof, which is one area that students are being asked to master by the end of secondary school. Encouraging explanation and justification in math class allows this skill to develop. Explaining and justifying their ideas forces students to think deeply about mathematics and informally prove in preparation for more formal proof writing. However, developing a classroom in which explanation and justification are common is a challenge. The process of proof cannot simply begin in the later years of secondary education. Students must develop the skills required to reason mathematically from kindergarten through grade 12. The authors' goal in this article is to help facilitate this process by putting into practice a tool from mathematics education research. They share a helpful framework for reflecting on mathematics discourse in the classroom. They also analyze actual classroom episodes using this framework and think about how to apply the framework in practice. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
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: Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A