Skip to main content

Pressing dilemmas: meaning-making and justification in mathematics teaching

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Meaning-making and justification are two important goals of current reforms in mathematics education. Working with learners to develop meaning-making and justification through communication and discussion in class can create dilemmas for teachers, particularly dilemmas between seemingly compatible reform goals. Drawing on previous descriptions of teaching dilemmas, I identify dilemmas observed in the classrooms of two reform-oriented South African teachers. Two key dilemmas are whether or not to press particular learners' meanings and whether to take up or ignore learner contributions. I show how these dilemmas are supported by the 'press' move of reform pedagogy and how these two dilemmas come together to create a third overarching dilemma: the dilemma between working with learners' meanings and encouraging justification.

Keywords: South African education; classroom interaction; mathematical meaning; reform pedagogy; teaching dilemmas

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: 2010-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more