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Promoting mathematical dialogue – students’ and teachers’ listening, questioning and participation

Publicerad:2022-01-19
Uppdaterad:2022-11-02

Marie Sjöblom har undersökt hur lärare kan skapa likvärdiga möjligheter för alla elever att delta i matematisk dialog genom att fokusera på tre aspekter – lyssnande, frågande och deltagande.

Författare

Marie Sjöblom

Handledare

Professor Clas Olander, Malmö universitet. Professor Paola Valero, Stockholms universtiet

Opponent

Professor Despina Potari, University of Athens

Disputerat vid

Malmö universitet

Disputationsdag

2022-02-21

Titel (eng)

Promoting mathematical dialogue – students’ and teachers’ listening, questioning and participation

Promoting mathematical dialogue – students’ and teachers’ listening, questioning and participation

In Swedish mathematics classrooms, students have different opportunities to participate in mathematical dialogue, and therefore also different opportunities to learn. This is a problem not only for students, but also for teachers, school developers, and researchers. By moving back and forth between two settings – the upper secondary mathematics classroom and the professional development group – this thesis aims to explore how questioning and listening can promote participation in mathematical dialogue. The following three research questions are in focus: What aspects of students’ questioning and listening do teachers need to pay attention to when promoting students’ participation in mathematical dialogue? What aspects of teachers’ questioning and listening are important when teachers promote students’ participation in mathematical dialogue? How can teachers, in cooperation with researchers, develop an awareness and refine their teaching in relation to students’ listening, questioning, and participation in mathematical dialogue?

By using educational design research, two sub-studies were conducted – one with a focus on students and one with a focus on teachers – and the results were described in four articles. Theories on three different levels were used and coordinated to understand mathematical dialogue: sociocultural theory to situate the research study on an overall level where interaction and communication are essential; the concept of mathematical dialogue by Alro and Skovsmose (2004), including their Inquiry Co-operation model to understand quality in mathematical dialogue; and local theories to study facets of mathematical dialogue concerning questioning, listening, and participation.

The results point to how important both students’ and teachers’ questions are for creating equitable participation opportunities, and how teachers can promote mathematical dialogue by using pre-thought specific mathematical why-questions that invite all students to participate in small groupproblem-solving work. The results also point to the importance of working with productive listening, a process that requires both requests for listening and willingness to listen to others. For teachers to develop an awareness and to refine their teaching in relation to mathematical dialogue, the cyclic structure of EDR, working with teacher noticing and moving back and forth between the two settings, help visualize their development processes.

The main contributions of the thesis are (1) the framework for productive listening, (2) the empirical results concerning how mathematical questioning is used to promote students’ participation in mathematical dialogue, and (3) the learnings of how mathematics education theories can be used and coordinated to increace understandings on mathematical dialogue. At the end of the thesis, a meta-reflection is made on how collaboration between different actors – students, teachers, school developers and researchers – can build bridges and deepen the understandings of the complexity of mathematical dialogue.

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