Building a Discourse Community: Initial Practices

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Although it is not a new idea, discourse continues to be a topic of discussion among teachers, teacher educators, and researchers in mathematics education. NCTM (1989; 2000) and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM 2010) describe mathematics classrooms as discourse communities in which whole-class discussions give students opportunities to share their thinking. In such discourse communities, different problem-solving approaches become explicit topics of conversation that can challenge, extend, and support all students' understanding. Further, opportunities to engage in discourse support students in becoming more confident problem solvers (Ball 1993; Kazemi and Stipek 2001).

Contributor Notes

Lynn Liao Hodge, lhodge4@utk.edu, is an associate professor of mathematics education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She works with preservice teachers and doctoral students in mathematics education. Her interests include equity, identity, and instructional design.

Ashley Walther, agrob@vols.utk. edu, is a doctoral student in mathematics education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a former high school math teacher. She is interested in lesson planning, problem solving, and implementing open tasks. She enjoys giving professional development workshops.

(Corresponding author is Hodge lhodge4@utk.edu)(Corresponding author is Walther agrob@vols.utk)
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School

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