Professor Zahner Presents at the University of Ottawa

On Tuesday, November 19th, Professor William Zahner will be presenting a colloquium talk entitled Between Words and Concepts: How two Algebra Teachers Introduced Slope and Rate in their Linguistically Diverse Classes at the University of Ottawa.

Below is the abstract of Professor Zahner’s paper and presentation:

Abstract:This paper presents an exploratory analysis of how two teachers, who differed in their years of experience and language background, taught the same unit introducing the concept of the slope of a linear function as a rate of change. Both teachers used the same text and taught in the same school with a high proportion of students classified as English Learners. The primary analysis involved examining the teachers’ use of technical vocabulary during two key lessons. The newer teacher used far more technical terminology than her more experienced colleague. A follow up analysis focused on how the teachers introduced new terminology, and it revealed that the more experienced teacher spent more time developing meanings through the use of non-technical terminology before introducing new technical terminology. Possible implications for research and practice will be discussed.

Part of Zahner’s research and analysis was supported by Boston University’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

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