The discourse of the mathematics classroom transmits messages not only about what it means to know mathematics but also about how mathematics is learned. Recent developments in cognitive psychology and mathematics education depict learning as assimilation of novel experiences towards personal and social construction of meaning in mathematics. In this article I propose that classroom discourse, if it is to be empowering for students, should reflect this socio-constructivist view of learning as a process of coming to know rather than as the remembering or recall of facts and procedures. Embedded within each discourse are fundamental notions of power and authority in depicting whose knowledge is valued and who has the authority to speak with status. It seems incumbent upon the university educator to model teaching as the facilitation of a process of coming to know through a discourse of inquiry if teachers in pre-service educational institutions are to experience and critique the alternative discourse.