A shift towards dialogic pedagogies: The practice architectures of questioning in mathematics lessons

Year: 2019

Author: Edwards-Groves, Christine, Grootenboer, Peter

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Student success in their learning requires an increased attention be given to participation and meaning making in lessons. Drawing on the theory of practice architectures that seeks to explain the contour and dynamism of practices, this paper emphasises how the shift towards more dialogic pedagogies in mathematics lessons promotes student understanding and participation. This paper presents preliminary research from a pilot study of examining dialogic pedagogies in mathematics lessons. Data will be drawn from an analysis of the practices and practice architectures found 10 mathematics lessons in NSW primary schools. Analysis of video-recorded and transcribed lessons establishes the interactional shift among teachers and students towards the dialogic. Shifts from the mainstream dominance of teacher-questioning evident in typical initiation-response-feedback (IRF) questioning practices, were found in lessons whereby teachers changed the nature of the work of the second and third turns after an initiating question in discussions. More specifically the study identifies how teacher questioning moves contribute to student’s meaning making in mathematics lessons. Findings interrupt the prevalence of teacher-led questioning as dominating classroom exchanges into interactive spaces where, through a deliberative focus on dialogue, dialogic questioning moves emerged. In these classrooms, new questioning moves led to the appearance of student-initiated or student-led questioning exchanges that evidenced and contributed to their making meaning. Furthermore, results show how lesson talk and interaction practice are influenced by the practice architectures that are evident in the observed lessons. Results have significance for classroom teachers to reconsider understandings about how 'enacting' a repertoire of teacher and student talk moves promote engagement and develop high-impact productive classroom discussions for mathematics learning.