Describing Levels and Components of a Math-Talk Learning Community
Kimberly Hufferd-Ackles, Karen C. Fuson, Miriam Gamoran Sherin
The transformation to reform mathematics teaching is a daunting task. It is often unclear to teachers what such a classroom would really look like, let alone how to get there. This article addresses this question: How does a teacher, along with her students, go about establishing the sort of classroom community that can enact reform mathematics practices? An intensive year-long case study of one teacher was undertaken in an urban elementary classroom with Latino children. Data analysis generated developmental trajectories for teacher and student learning that describe the building of a math-talk learning community—a community in which individuals assist one another's learning of mathematics by engaging in meaningful mathematical discourse. The developmental trajectories in the Math-Talk Learning Community framework are (a) questioning, (b) explaining mathematical thinking, (c) sources of mathematical ideas, and (d) responsibility for learning.