Pressing dilemmas: meaning-making and justification in mathematics teaching
Abstract: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.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: School of Education, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa
Publication date: 2010-02-01