Using Wittgenstein's notion of language games to provide rich contexts for talk in primary mathematics

Sociocultural theories that see language use as a central theme in educational research emphasise the importance of developing dialogue based pedagogies (e.g Mercer & Howe, 2012). Now a dominant paradigm, a sociocultural perspective carries implications about which forms of language use are permitted or encouraged that can challenge commonly received views about learning mathematics. Thus, progressing the development and use of dialogue based pedagogies in mathematics can be hindered. This study explores how primary aged students become initiated into school mathematical practices. The approach is supported by reframing a view of classroom dialogue as language games (Wittgenstein, 1953) and by using a commognitive lens (Sfard, 2008). Using an interpretivism research design, a series of teaching experiments take place in a Year 1 classroom and semi-structured interviews are conducted with participants. Using language games as a way of seeing learning-as-participation aims to provide a different perspective of how students engage in classroom dialogue that benefits mathematical  practice.

Advisors: Katie Makar, Jodie Miller

Panel: Jana Visnovska, Stephen Tucker

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