Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 349–371 | Cite as

Promoting student collaboration in a detracked, heterogeneous secondary mathematics classroom



Detracking and heterogeneous groupwork are two educational practices that have been shown to have promise for affording all students needed learning opportunities to develop mathematical proficiency. However, teachers face significant pedagogical challenges in organizing productive groupwork in these settings. This study offers an analysis of one teacher’s role in creating a classroom system that supported student collaboration within groups in a detracked, heterogeneous geometry classroom. The analysis focuses on four categories of the teacher’s work that created a set of affordances to support within group collaborative practices and links the teacher’s work with principles of complex systems.


Heterogeneous groups Detracking Secondary mathematics Teacher’s role 



I would like to thank Melissa Gresalfi for her insightful and generative feedback on earlier drafts of this manuscript. I would also like to thank Jo Boaler for her guidance in the design of this project. Finally, I extend my deep appreciation to Linda McClure and her geometry class for allowing me to be a part of their classroom community.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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