Title : Why all this talk about talking classrooms? Theorizing the relation between teaching and learning
Speaker: Professor Anna Sfard
Affiliation: University of Haifa, Israel
Time: 4:00 pm Thursday, 29 June, 2017
Location: 303-G16 (followed by refreshments in common room 303-257)
Talk in the (mathematics) classroom is a hot topic these days. It reflects the current tendency for teaching mathematics by making students talk to each other. The new phenomenon raises many questions, the most urgent of which is also the most basic: Why the “discursive turn” in mathematics education in the first place? This talk is devoted to this query. After deconstructing some seemingly selfevident answers, I argue that convincing arguments for the talking classroom will not be found until theories are available that can explain the relation between communication and learning. I continue with a proposal for a direction the theorybuilding effort can take. The talk concludes with a brief remark about the implications of the proposed approach for the question of how and when students' (mathematics) learning can benefit from different forms of classroom conversation.

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