Initiation-entry-focus-exit and participation: a framework for understanding teacher groupwork monitoring routines

Abstract

In this paper, we offer a framework for teacher monitoring routines—a consequential yet understudied aspect of instruction when teachers oversee students’ working together. Using a comparative case study design, we examine eight lessons of experienced secondary mathematics teachers, identifying common interactional routines that they take up with variation. We present a framework that illuminates the common moves teachers make while monitoring, including how they initiate conversations with students, their forms of conversational entry, the focus of their interactions, when and how they exit the interaction as well as the conversation’s overall participation pattern. We illustrate the framework through our focal cases, highlighting the instructional issues the different enactments engage. By breaking down the complex work of groupwork monitoring, this study informs both researchers and teachers in understanding the teachers’ role in supporting students’ collaborative mathematical sensemaking.

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Acknowledgments

We are thankful to the participating teachers, as well as Nicole Louie and Anna Sfard who gave helpful feedback on earlier stages of work, Avital Ashtar for her help with the graphic representations, and the SIGMa research team: Patricia Buenrostro, Grace Chen, Brette Garner, Mariah Harmon, Lara Jasien, Samantha Marshall, Elizabeth Metts, Jessica Moses, Katherine Schneeberger McGugan, and Chi Xiao. Feedback from the three anonymous reviewers strengthened the final manuscript. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant #DRL-1620920. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or other collaborators.

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Correspondence to Nadav Ehrenfeld.

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Nadav Ehrenfeld and Ilana S. Horn contributed equally to this paper.

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Ehrenfeld, N., Horn, I.S. Initiation-entry-focus-exit and participation: a framework for understanding teacher groupwork monitoring routines. Educ Stud Math 103, 251–272 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-020-09939-2

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Keywords

  • Mathematics teaching
  • Collaborative learning
  • Monitoring
  • Groupwork