, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 255–268 | Cite as

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

  • Helen M. Doerr


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 well-developed 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.


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Copyright information

© ZDM 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen M. Doerr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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