“Researchers increasingly recognize,” say the authors, “that promoting mathematical learning requires teachers to engage students in ‘productive struggle,’ where students expend effort to make sense of mathematics and figure out something that is not immediately apparent. One way students can productively struggle with the mathematics is through their communication with others – both through explaining one’s own thought processes (e.g., reasoning about mathematical concepts and how to solve problems) and discussing other students’ reasoning process.”
Franke and her colleagues noticed three challenges that teachers faced as they tried to orchestrate good mathematical discussions:
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Students sometimes seemed unable to engage with each others’ ideas.
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->Students sometimes provided little or no detail about others’ thinking;
<!-- [if !supportLists]-->-<!--[endif]-->At times, students provided details but didn’t address the mathematical ideas underlying other students’ strategies.
“just inviting students to engage with others will not guarantee that students will, in fact, engage with each other, nor necessarily engage in ways that are supportive of mathematical learning.”
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