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Marcy B. Wood

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.

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Marcy B. Wood, James Sheldon, Mathew D. Felton-Koestler, Joy Oslund, Amy Noelle Parks, Sandra Crespo, and Helen Featherstone

Try these suggestions to increase the mathematical participation of each student.

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Marcy B. Wood, James Sheldon, Mathew D. Felton-Koestler, Joy Oslund, Amy Noelle Parks, Sandra Crespo, Helen Featherstone, and Introduction by: Sarah B. Bush

From the Archives highlights articles from NCTM’s legacy journals, as chosen by leaders in mathematics education.