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Current Projects

Supporting Collaborative Mathematics for Diverse Learners (Coll-Math)

The Coll-Math project is based on a partnership between SIELL and the Ravenswood City School District to support productive and conceptually rigorous collaborative mathematics learning activities at the elementary level. The primary research goals of this project are to: (1) refine conceptual and analytic tools to examine how students negotiate intellectual and social forms of authority during the collaborative mathematics problem-solving process, and (2) apply such innovative tools to study the effects of student authority relations on student participation, strategic thinking, and identity processes in mathematics classrooms.


The Coll-Math project team is currently engaged in several active studies:


Understanding Student Authority Relations during Collaborative Mathematics Problem-Solving (Coll-Math)


This study examines the relations between social and intellectual forms of authority during collaborative interactions. We are currently mapping how different distributions of student authority determine whether, and in what ways, students are able to establish shared thinking during collaborative mathematics problem-solving.


Supporting Teachers’ Noticing of Collaborative Student Dynamics: Professional Development in Coll-Math


Our Coll-Math professional development study focuses on supporting teachers’ capacity to foster productive, inclusive, and conceptually rigorous mathematical activity at the elementary level. We are currently analyzing data from our summer and academic year-long professional development approach, which centrally engaged teachers in collective viewing video of their own students’ collaborative activity.


Understanding the Collaborative Functions of “Off-Task” Intersections (Coll-Math)


Adults and children alike engage in many forms of socialization and other “off-task” work when engaged in collaborative activity. What functions do those kinds of interactions serve? Are they useful in sustaining high-level collaborative work or are they distractions to avoid in the classroom? In this study, we examine video records of student collaborative work and focus on the productive and unproductive functions of off-task interactions. Preliminary results suggest that there is more to “off-task” work than meets the eye and that teachers benefit from understanding what students really do when they work together.


Collaborative Math Continuum Project (Coll-Math)


This study is a collaboration between our research team and our classroom teacher partners. Together, we are developing a developmental continuum of the competencies students require, from grades K-5, in order to engage in productive and shared collaborative learning activities. 


Advancing Methods for Studying Social Identities in Mathematics (AMSSI- Math Conference)

Supported by the Spencer Foundation, Drs. Jennifer Langer-Osuna (Stanford) and Niral Shah (Michigan State) are co-hosting a working conference meant to support innovations in methodological and modeling tools for researchers interested in understanding how social identities affect mathematics classroom teaching and learning processes. Please visit the website for more information.