The vision to transform mathematics classrooms into learning communities in which students engage in mathematical discourse is a remarkable hallmark of the current movement, led by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, to reform mathematics education (NCTM 1991, 2000). According to NCTM, “the discourse of a classroom—the ways of representing, thinking, talking, agreeing and disagreeing—is central to what students learn about mathematics as a domain of human inquiry with characteristic ways of knowing” (NCTM 1991, p. 34). Indeed, both the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) and Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (1991) recommend that teachers of mathematics provide opportunities for children of all ages to participate in mathematical discourse.
Azita Manouchehri, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dennis St. John, email@example.com, are colleagues at Central Michigan University, where they teach graduate and undergraduate courses in mathematics and mathematics education. Manouchehri studies the typology of classroom interactions in the presence of problem–based instruction. St. John's research focuses on the use of technology to support mathematical problem solving in the middle grades.