How can students learn from discussing mathematics?

If students are to make sense of mathematical concepts, then they will need opportunities to share, discuss and work together. Research has shown that cooperative small group work has positive effects on learning, but that this is dependent on the existence of shared goals for the group and individual accountability for the attainment of these goals. It has also been seen to have a positive effect on social skills and self-esteem (Askew & Wiliam, 1995).

In many classrooms, however, traditional transmission teaching styles have reduced both the quantity and quality of student-student discussion. In others, students do work and talk together, but this talk does not always profit learning.

This unit is designed to offer the professional development provider some resources that will help teachers to:

About the MAP PD Modules

These modules have been developed for MAP by drawing on professional development materials developed by the Shell Centre team at the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education, University of Nottingham. Many of these materials were originally written for two projects:

Getting started

Download the print materials (links on the left) and read the main Module Guide.

Use the "Video" tab at the top of the screen to see the video which accompanies this module. (Requires Adobe Flash Player).