"Let us discuss math"; Effects of shiftproblem lessons on mathematical discussions and level raising in early algebra

Sharon M. Calor, Rijkje Dekker, Jannet P. van Drie, Bonne J. H. Zijlstra, Monique L. L. Volman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated whether Early Algebra lessons that explicitly aimed to elicit mathematical discussions (Shift-Problem Lessons) invoke more and qualitatively better mathematical discussions and raise students’ mathematical levels more than conventional lessons in a small group setting. A quasi-experimental study (pre- and post-test, control group) was conducted in 6 seventh-grade classes (N =160). An analysis of the interaction processes of five student groups showed that more mathematical discussions occurred in the Shift-Problem condition. The quality of the mathematical discussions in the Shift-Problem condition was better compared to that in the Conventional Textbook condition, but there is still more room for improvement. A qualitative illustration of two typical mathematical discussions in the Shift-Problem condition are provided. Although students’ mathematical levels were raised a fair amount in both conditions, no differences between conditions were found. We concluded that Shift-Problem Lessons are powerful for eliciting mathematical discussions in seventh-grade Shift-Problem Early Algebra Lessons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-767
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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