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Exploiting unexpected situations in the mathematics classroom

Foster, Colin

Authors

Colin Foster



Abstract

The professional development of mathematics teachers needs to support teachers in orchestrating the mathematics classroom in ways that enable them to respond flexibly and productively to the unexpected. When a situation arises in the classroom which is not connected in an obvious way to the mathematical learning intentions of the lesson, it can be challenging for the teacher to improvise so as to craft this situation into an opportunity for doing and learning mathematics. In this study, as teacher-researcher I maintained a record of unexpected situations as they arose in my own secondary mathematics classroom. Details are given of four unexpected situations which I found ways to exploit mathematically, and these are analysed to highlight factors which may enhance a mathematics teacher’s preparedness for dealing with the unexpected. The results of this study indicate that deviating from the intended lesson to exploit an unexpected situation in which students have shown some interest can lead them into enjoyable and worthwhile mathematical engagement.

Citation

Foster, C. (2014). Exploiting unexpected situations in the mathematics classroom. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, doi:10.1007/s10763-014-9515-3

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 11, 2014
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jan 21, 2015
Journal International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Print ISSN 1571-0068
Electronic ISSN 1571-0068
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-014-9515-3
Keywords contingency, discipline of noticing, flow, mathematics teaching, orchestrating, researching own practice, unexpected situations
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/27859
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10763-014-9515-3
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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