Teacher Support for Argumentation: An Examination of Beliefs and Practice

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  • 1 University of Georgia
  • | 2 Lee University, Tennessee

Supporting students in making mathematical arguments is an important part of discourse practices in mathematics classrooms. Differences in teachers’ support for collective argumentation have been observed and documented, and the importance of the teacher’s role in supporting collective argumentation is well established. This article seeks to explain differences in teachers’ support for argumentation by examining two student teachers’ beliefs about mathematics, teaching, and proof to see which beliefs are visible in their support for argumentation. Assisted by a framework for argumentation and a commitment to teachers’ beliefs and actions as sensible systems, we found that teachers’ beliefs about the role of the teacher, particularly with respect to giving explanations, were more visible in their support for collective argumentation than other beliefs about mathematics or proof.

Notes

This research was funded in part by a Faculty Research Grant, “Prospective Teachers’ Changing Views of Mathematics and Teaching in Mathematics Education Courses," from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Georgia Research Foundation.

This article was accepted under the editorship of Jinfa Cai.

Contributor Notes

AnnaMarie Conner, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, University of Georgia, 105 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602; aconner@uga.edu

Laura Marie Singletary, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Lee University, SMC 103-B, Cleveland, TN 37311; lsingletary@leeuniversity.edu

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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