Positioning During Group Work on a Novel Task in Algebra II

  • Positioning During Group Work on a Novel Task in Algebra II

    Anna F. DeJarnette, University of Cincinnati; Gloriana González, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Given the prominence of group work in mathematics education policy and curricular materials, it is important to understand how students make sense of mathematics during group work. We applied techniques from Systemic Functional Linguistics to examine how students positioned themselves during group work on a novel task in Algebra II classes. We examined the patterns of positioning that students demonstrated during group work and how students’ positioning moves related to the ways they established the resources, operations, and product of a task. Students who frequently repositioned themselves created opportunities for mathematical reasoning by attending to the resources and operations necessary for completing the task. The findings of this study suggest how students’ positioning and mathematical reasoning are intertwined and jointly support collaborative learning through work on novel tasks.
    Key words: Algebra; Classroom interaction; Discourse; High school; Linguistics; Positioning; Group work; Reasoning