Linking Teacher–Learner Discourse With Mathematical Reasoning of Students With Learning Disabilities: An Exploratory Study


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Informed by a constructivist-based, student-adaptive pedagogical approach, this study explores the benefits of teacher-learner discourse moves for the mathematics learning of students with learning disabilities (LD). During a constructivist teaching experiment for nurturing the multiplicative reasoning and problem solving of five third-grade students with school-identified LD, we analyzed the global trends and detailed dynamics of teacher-student interactions with statistical discourse analysis. We found that the teacher's discourse moves to support each individual student's problem solving helped engage them in mathematical reasoning, which improved their problem-solving performance. Thus, this study contributes to knowledge in the field of special education by (a) specifying ways in which discourse-oriented mathematics instruction can help each student with LD and (b) showcasing a novel statistical analysis of teacher-student discourse.
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Key words
elementary mathematics,discourse analysis,discourse-oriented instruction,instructional strategies,learning difficulties,learning disabilities,mathematical problem solving,multiplicative reasoning,student-adaptive pedagogy,student-adaptive teaching,learning,thinking,cognition
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