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Instructional Leaders Supporting Mathematics Teachers in Enacting More Equitable Classroom Discourse

Joshua R Males, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Mathematics educators have moved past the days of students sitting quietly in mathematics classrooms, listening to their teachers while procedures are demonstrated at the board. While this is certainly not true everywhere, the evidence to move away from traditional lectures is clear. Rather than sitting and just listening, students must actively work with new information and integrate it with previous experiences and knowledge (Lave & Wenger, 1991). A part of the process of constructing mathematics knowledge, students must also engage in meaningful problems and discuss their thinking and the thinking of others (Donovan & Bransford, 2005; Lester, 2007; Mayer, 2002; National Research Council, 2001, 2013). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has included facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse as one of the eight research-informed teaching practices that “promote deep learning of mathematics” (NCTM, 2014). Teachers must support their students as they work through cognitively demanding tasks and facilitate classroom discourse in a way that allows students to process their thinking. Administrators play an essential role in a teacher’s development. While administrators are typically appraisers, they are the ones that set the stage for teachers’ further professional development. How these critical colleagues help a teacher come to understand the implicit biases that may be present in their classrooms will be important as teachers work to change inequitable patterns of participation in their classrooms. This dissertation describes the role instructional leaders play in helping a teacher work towards making their classroom discussions more equitable. The teachers in this study went through an iterative cycle of recording and coding classroom discussions, then debriefing with their instructional leader to make a plan to make the next discussion more equitable.

Subject Area

Education|Mathematics education|Pedagogy|Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Males, Joshua R, "Instructional Leaders Supporting Mathematics Teachers in Enacting More Equitable Classroom Discourse" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30814007.