Given the prominence of group work in mathematics education policy and curricular materials, it is important to understand how students make sense of mathematics during group work. We applied techniques from Systemic Functional Linguistics to examine how students positioned themselves during group work on a novel task in Algebra II classes. We examined the patterns of positioning that students demonstrated during group work and how students' positioning moves related to the ways they established the resources, operations, and product of a task. Students who frequently repositioned themselves created opportunities for mathematical reasoning by attending to the resources and operations necessary for completing the task. The findings of this study suggest how students' positioning and mathematical reasoning are intertwined and jointly support collaborative learning through work on novel tasks.
Anna F. DeJarnette, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Cincinnati, 511H Teachers College, P.O. Box 210022, Cincinnati, OH 45221; email@example.com
Gloriana González, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 387 Education Building, MC-708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820; firstname.lastname@example.org