The language of mathematics teaching: a text mining approach to explore the zeitgeist of US mathematics education

Tracy E. Dobie*, Bruce Sherin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exploring language provides us with one approach to better understanding the practices and beliefs of a community. With advances in technology—specifically, computational text processing and machine learning tools—we can now examine written language on a large scale. In this study, we investigate the language of mathematics teaching and learning in the USA over a decade (2009–2018) by analyzing text from articles published in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. Our analyses explore the terminology used by middle school teachers and teacher educators to discuss their practice, revealing terms that are used widely, terms that have largely been absent from such writing, and terms that have shifted in usage over the past decade. This research provides insight into the zeitgeist of mathematics teaching and learning during a particular period of time, while also suggesting a fruitful approach to examining language as a means of uncovering the beliefs and practices of a community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-188
Number of pages30
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Language
  • Mathematics teaching and learning
  • Middle school
  • Teachers
  • Text analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education

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