Mathematics Culture Clash: Negotiating New Classroom Norms with Prospective Teachers

Betsy McNeal, Martin A. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of an investigation of the mathematical and pedagogical development of prospective teachers, the second author taught mathematics to a group of undergraduate teacher candidates in a way that is compatible with current mathematics education reform principles. Initially, the lack of a shared basis for communication was evident when these students, acculturated to the practices of school mathematics, interacted with a teacher who was trying to promote inquiry mathematics. Our analysis of the data indicates that by the latter stages of the course, a classroom microculture characterized by inquiry mathematics had evolved. In this article, we examine the processes by which the participants in this classroom community negotiated norms and practices. The result of this analysis was an identification and elaboration of four categories of interaction central to the ongoing negotiation. This article illustrates how each of these categories of interaction contributed to the negotiation of new norms and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-509
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Mathematical Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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