Using Peer-Assisted Reflection in Math to Foster Critical Thinking and Communication Skills

Susanna Calkins, Sharisse Grannan, Jason Elliot Siefken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the impact of Peer-Assisted Reflection (PAR), a structured active learning strategy that emphasizes peer feedback and reflection, on students’ perceptions of mathematical thinking, and of the roles their peers and their instructors play in their learning process. This study also examines the impact of PAR on the students’ ability to evaluate mathematical arguments and communicate those evaluations in writing, which has not been specifically measured in prior research on PAR. The findings suggest that the PAR intervention not only increases students’ ability to communicate effectively, but also gives them a newfound recognition of the importance of developing communication skills in mathematics. Additionally, students’ thinking about mathematics shifts as they come to value the exploration of multiple perspectives in solving math problems. Many students explicitly note their increased appreciation for the role of their peers in the learning process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-499
Number of pages25
JournalPRIMUS
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2020

Keywords

  • Peer-assisted reflection
  • communicating mathematics
  • critical thinking
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education

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