Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Mathematical Explanation

29 April 2013 - 29 April 2013
E.C. Stoner 10.81

Speaker: Tim Rowland

Honorary Professor of Mathematics Education School of Education, University of East Anglia 

Emeritus Reader in Mathematics Education Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Editor, Research in Mathematics Education, Routledge,  Chair, Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom (JMC)

Abstract: Explanation is central to the task of teaching. Gaea Leinhardt has written that "Instructional explanations are recognizable as being a part of the instructional landscape by teachers, students and observers". It is hard to conceive of mathematics teaching without it. One can surmise whether an explanation has been successful in achieving its intended purpose, or otherwise, by the response of the intended audience - usually a student, or students. Yet analysing our own explanations, or teaching someone else 'how to explain', is problematic. In this presentation I shall give some examples of explanation, from my own teaching and drawing on videotapes of other teachers, with the aim of identifying some key components of what might be called a 'mathematics explanation repertoire'.

All are welcome.

For further information, please contact Professor John Monaghan



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