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Suzanne Chapin says talking about math adds up

SED’s Suzanne Chapin promotes "academically productive talk" for math teachers.

Professor Suzanne Chapin presented the “Using Productive Classroom Talk to Support Students’ Reasoning” at the 84th Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics yesterday, April 27, in St. Louis, Mo.

Chapin is an associate professor in the department of curriculum and teaching. Her work specializes in mathematics curriculum, professional development of teachers of mathematics, and gifted education.

She presented research on diverse, urban students’ achievement gains following instruction where teachers facilitated “academically productive talk” about mathematical concepts and procedures. Talking about the mathematics as well as doing problems supported students’ understanding of concepts and the development of their abilities to explain and justify their ideas. This study suggests that the role of discussion in learning mathematics, especially with groups that have historically not achieved at high levels, should be examined further.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education. Founded in 1920, it is the world’s largest mathematics education organization, with 100,000 members and 250 affiliates throughout the United States and Canada.