Portraits of Teacher Noticing during Orchestration of Learning Experiences in the Mathematics Classrooms

Project Number
OER 03/16 CBH

Project Duration
June 2016 - March 2018


Learning mathematics goes beyond learning about mathematics, and should include providing students opportunities to learn about ways of thinking and working in mathematics. An important aspect of the revised Singapore Mathematics syllabus is the inclusion of Learning Experiences, which aim to provide a platform for students to mathematize reason, argue and communicate their thinking during mathematics lessons. However, designing, implementing and reviewing these tasks can be very challenging and teachers need to attend to many aspects—task design before the lesson, listening and responding to students’ explanations during the lesson, and thinking about students’ reasoning during the reflection phase of the lesson. To do this well, it is not so much about what teachers know, but what they notice about student thinking that matters. Mathematics teacher noticing consists of three inter-related processes—attending to, interpreting and responding to classroom events and details. Other researchers have viewed noticing as a set of practices aimed at bringing to a teacher’s mind, a different act or way to respond. Prior research has established noticing as a key component of teaching expertise, and is highly consequential for improving teaching and learning. However, studies on teacher noticing in Singapore are limited. This project is an extension of my doctoral study, which looks at what, and how, teachers notice when they plan, carry out, and review lessons that are aimed at enhancing students’ reasoning. Examining teacher noticing in the context of LEMMAs is thus timely and needful, and has the potential to support teachers in enhancing students’ reasoning through these activities. This project has two main goals. First, it involves developing a local theory to describe, and prescribe, what and how exemplary teachers notice when they orchestrate Learning Experiences in their classrooms. This local theory, though highly contextual, can provide insights into the noticing processes of exemplary teachers and suggest how teacher educators can support teachers to enact Learning Experiences in a way that enhances students’ mathematical reasoning. Second, it is aimed at designing a toolkit that can be used by teachers to promote students’ thinking through high-quality Learning Experiences. This toolkit can contain design considerations, discussion protocols and question prompts for orchestrating classroom discussions.

Funding Source

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