Mathematical Micro-Identities: Moment-to-Moment Positioning and Learning in a Fourth-Grade Classroom

Author: Marcy B. Wood1
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  • 1 University of Arizona

Identity is an important tool for understanding students' participation in mathematics lessons. Researchers usually examine identity at a macro-scale: across typical classroom activity and in students' self-reports. However, learning occurs on a micro-scale: in moments during a lesson. To capture identity in these moments, I used positioning theory to develop a framework of micro-identity and then to examine the identities and learning of 1 fourth-grade student during 1 mathematics lesson. This study demonstrates how mathematical identities can shift in dramatic ways in response to minor changes in context so that a student might be, in one moment, engaged in an identity that undermines learning and then later engaged in an academically productive identity. These shifting micro-identities have important implications for mathematical learning, classroom contexts, and macro-identities.

Contributor Notes

Marcy B. Wood, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0069; mbwood@email.arizona.edu

(Corresponding author is Wood mbwood@email.arizona.edu)
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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