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Sociomathematical Norms, Argumentation, and Autonomy in Mathematics

Erna Yackel and Paul Cobb
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Jul., 1996), pp. 458-477
DOI: 10.2307/749877
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/749877
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sociomathematical Norms, Argumentation, and Autonomy in Mathematics
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Abstract

This paper sets forth a way of interpreting mathematics classrooms that aims to account for how students develop mathematical beliefs and values and, consequently, how they become intellectually autonomous in mathematics. To do so, we advance the notion of sociomathematical norms, that is, normative aspects of mathematical discussions that are specific to students' mathematical activity. The explication of sociomathematical norms extends our previous work on general classroom social norms that sustain inquiry-based discussion and argumentation. Episodes from a second-grade classroom where mathematics instruction generally followed an inquiry tradition are used to clarify the processes by which sociomathematical norms are interactively constituted and to illustrate how these norms regulate mathematical argumentation and influence learning opportunities for both the students and the teacher. In doing so, we both clarify how students develop a mathematical disposition and account for students' development of increasing intellectual autonomy in mathematics. In the process, the teacher's role as a representative of the mathematical community is elaborated.

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