Interaction and explanation in a secondary school mathematics classroom

R Barwell, AT Coles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


In this paper we develop an analysis of classroom talk that draws on the traditions of enactivism and discursive psychology. While the two approaches have rather different goals they share some common assumptions about the contingent nature of human knowing - in particular, they adopt a process view of knowing and learning. For enactivists, knowing and doing are seen as inseparable and linked to effective action in a given context. Categorising is assumed to be the basic mental function and hence looking for difference and pattern are the central tools of analysis. From the perspective of discursive psychology, individual cognition is not directly observable. This approach therefore analyses the discursive construction of cognition, as made available through talk and involves examining the fine detail of contingently produced and context bound discursive patterns. We synthesise these approaches in an analysis of the interaction of a secondary school mathematics lesson where we focus particularly on the production of students' explanations in the selected classroom data. We conclude by discussing the affordances and constraints of our synthesis and by suggesting some principles for the analysis of classroom talk.
Translated title of the contributionInteraction and explanation in a secondary school mathematics classroom
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: International Conference of Qualitative Inquiry
Other: This article has been accepted for the conference

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