“So what are we working on?”: how student authority relations shift during collaborative mathematics activity

Jennifer Langer-Osuna*, Jen Munson, Emma Gargroetzi, Immanuel Williams, Rosa Chavez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores peer interactions in an elementary mathematics classroom (ages 9–10) where the teacher intentionally shared authority with her students and supported them in learning to share authority with one another. Authors examine how students shifted between shared, concentrated, and contested social and intellectual authority relations in partner and small group work during a three-week unit on place value. Findings show that (a) students were able to share both social and intellectual authority, and did so often; (b) the distribution of social authority was more dynamic than that of intellectual authority; and (c) when groups shifted into shared intellectual authority, shifts were usually preceded by a student making some aspect of the collaborative task public. We connect these findings to research on authority in mathematics classrooms that serve racially and linguistically minoritized students and offer directions for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-349
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Volume104
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Authority
  • Collaboration
  • Elementary
  • Group work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education

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