Teachers' ways of listening and responding to students' emerging mathematical models

Helen M. Doerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this paper, I present the results of a case study of the practices of four experienced secondary teachers as they engaged their students in the initial development of mathematical models for exponential growth. The study focuses on two related aspects of their practices: (a) when, how and to what extent they saw and interpreted students' ways of thinking about exponential functions and (b) how they responded to the students' thinking in their classroom practice. Through an analysis of the teachers' actions in the classroom, I describe the teachers' developing knowledge when using modeling tasks with secondary students. The analysis suggests that there is considerable variation in the approaches that teachers take in listening to and responding to students' emerging mathematical models. Having a welldeveloped schema for how students might approach the task enabled one teacher to press students to express, evaluate, and revise their emerging models of exponential growth. Implications for the knowledge needed to teach mathematics through modeling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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