Community in the Elementary Mathematics Classroom: Student Engagement in Face-to-Face and Online Environments
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This qualitative study reveals how nineteen students in a grade five classroom engaged in community interactions to solve meaningful mathematics problems. In my experience, students often defer their sense of mathematical authority and autonomy to teachers and textbooks. The rationale for this study stems from an interest to investigate student membership in a mathematical community, both face-to-face and online, as it serves students to assert their own powers. Participants of this study solved two mathematics problems, interacting in a face-to-face and online community of peers. Analyses of teams audiotaped face-to-face negotiations, digital chat field comments and physical as well as virtual solutions were undertaken, as was a discussion of students individual survey comments about their experiences in the two forms of community. These present implications around the negotiation of both social and sociomathematical norms, particularly in the digital environment.