, Volume 31, Issue 1-2, pp 63-93

Assisting teachers and students to reform the mathematics classroom

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This study examines the usefulness of selected aspects of Tharp and Gallimore's (1988) theory of assistance as a theoretical framework for describing and analyzing change efforts in a middle school mathematics reform project. Drawing upon Tharp and Gallimore's redefinition of teaching as assisting performance and learning as the result of assisted performance, the social organization of a school-based mathematics reform effort in which teacher educators, mathematics teachers, and students both assist and are assisted is analyzed. In addition, one particular classroom assistance activity is presented and analyzed in terms of characteristics of assistance that, according to the theory, should lead to significant learning.