Negotiating identity and agency amidst pedagogical change: The case of student push back

Jen Munson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: When mathematics teachers embrace the call for pedagogical change, instructional shifts are likely to unfold in complex ways. While we typically view teachers as leading this process, within a figured worlds framework, students play active roles in negotiating the identities, rights, and obligations of all members of a classroom in the midst of pedagogical change. Methods: Drawing on a comparative case study approach, the study examined the case of student push back moves in student-teacher discourse during nine sensemaking mathematics lessons in two fourth grade classrooms. Findings: Analysis of the case of student push back moves shows how classrooms in pedagogical transition represent not a single coherent figured world, but multiple, clashing figured worlds. Students exercised agency to press the teacher to adhere to obligations to support sensemaking, thus supporting pedagogical change. Contribution: These findings indicate the complexity of negotiations within transitioning classrooms, with implications for understanding how figured worlds evolve and the ways that students participate in pedagogical change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-675
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of the Learning Sciences
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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