Ed.D. Dissertation Defense: Influence of Students’ Conversations in Constructing Mathematical Knowledge

Friday, September 6, 2019 2:30pm - 4:30pm

GSE Room 11

The field of mathematics education brings multiple perspectives and ideas about how to teach and learn mathematics. Although communication is considered to be the heartbeat of education during class discourse, researchers illustrate other forms of learning mathematics through constructivism (Davis, Maher, & Noddings, 1990). Recent studies demonstrate that when students work on non-routine tasks in collaborative learning activities, they develop mathematical skills that transcend the limits of the traditional practice of teaching by didactic instruction. 
   This research considered students’ learning of mathematics with respect to the constructivist perspective with attention to vernacular language as a negotiation tool. In line with this objective, the research focused on how the use of semiotic models and conversational language influence each other and how they co-operate and interact in the learning of mathematics. Revealing patterns of engagement among these forms of mathematics expressions help infer how students construct mathematical knowledge when working in collaborative learning activities. 
   Video data from archive files from NSF funded research, stored in the Video Mosaic Collaborative and RBDIL video collections (Agnew, Mills, & Maher, 2010), were used to analyze student behavior in learning mathematics. The following questions guided the study: (1) How does student use of semiotic models facilitate the constructing of mathematical ideas? (2) How does the use of conversational language facilitate the communication and appropriation of those ideas.


Who to contact:

Alberto Rivera-Dominguez