UBC Graduate Research

Taking risks in primary mathematics classrooms 2011

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Taking risks in primary mathematics classrooms. Discursive Psychology as a framework for mathematics education research Talk reveals WHAT children think Talk reveals HOW children think Other sociocultural approaches assume: foregrounds intersubjectivity children construct their thinking AS they talk Is risk taking necessary for learning? an ill-defined but important disposition in learning mathematics commitment intentagency risk taking is defined here as the confluence of the discursive deployment of three factors •Reforms in math education call for meaningful student participation •This is intended to produce learning with  understanding •Reforms are being applied as “inquiry-based” pedagogy •Risk taking involves agency & intent: both essential for inquiry learning Does the reform approach rely on risk taking for learning? Discursive psychology assumes: talk as social acts sequential organization variability becomes the signal not the “noise” role of rhetoric in interaction Commitment, agency and intent are all social acts which can be identified in talk My current conceptual questions: 1. How else might risk taking be defined? 2. Can a child “take a risk” without talking? sources: Barwell, R. (2003). Discursive psychology and mathematics education: Possibiliites and challenges. ZDM, 35, 201-207. Edwards, D. & Potter, J. (1992). Discursive Psychology. Sage: London. - complete reference list available upon request - I acknowledge  the support of  SSHRC graduate scholarship 767-2010-2458 Sylvia McLellan EDCP smclella@interchange.ubc.ca Ask to see an example of data analysed


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