Even in simple mathematical situations, there is an array of different mathematical features that students can attend to or notice. What students notice mathematically has consequences for their subsequent reasoning. By adapting work from both cognitive science and applied linguistics anthropology, we present a focusing framework, which treats noticing as a complex phenomenon that is distributed across individual cognition, social interactions, material resources, and normed practices. Specifically, this research demonstrates that different centers of focus emerged in two middle grades mathematics classes addressing the same content goals, which, in turn, were related conceptually to differences in student reasoning on subsequent interview tasks. Furthermore, differences in the discourse practices, features of the mathematical tasks, and the nature of the mathematical activity in the two classrooms were related to the different mathematical features that students appeared to notice.
Joanne Lobato, Charles Hohensee and Bohdan Rhodehamel
Jinfa Cai, Anne Morris, Charles Hohensee, Stephen Hwang, Victoria Robison and James Hiebert
In our March editorial (Cai et al., 2018), we considered the problem of isolation in the work of teachers and researchers. In particular, we proposed ways to take advantage of emerging technological resources, such as online archives of student data linked to instructional activities and indexed by learning goals, to produce a professional knowledge base (Cai et al., 2017b, 2018). This proposal would refashion our conceptions of the nature and collection of data so that teachers, researchers, and teacher-researcher partnerships could benefit from the accumulated learning of ordinarily isolated groups. Although we have discussed the general parameters for such a system in previous editorials, in this editorial, we present a potential mechanism for accumulating learning into a professional knowledge base, a mechanism that involves collaboration between multiple teacher-researcher partnerships. To illustrate our ideas, we return once again to the collaboration between fourth-grade teacher Mr. Lovemath and mathematics education researcher Ms. Research, who are mentioned in our previous editorials(Cai et al., 2017a, 2017b).