Understanding Meaningful Exchanges: Mathematics Discourse Analysis and Complexity Thinking

  • Evan Throop Robinson St. Francis Xavier University


The focus in this paper is on the analysis of student-centered discourse through applying a discourse analysis tool that I developed to analyze data from an elementary mathematics classroom. The purpose of the analysis tool is to understand the impact of the complex learning system on the emerging classroom discourse. The minimum conditions for complexity created an invitational space for students that allowed interactions and meaningful exchanges to flourish through exploration of mathematical concepts and collective participation in classroom discourse. The analytic lens provides the teacher with a tool to understand more clearly the dynamics of meaningful exchanges identified as sharing, building, exploring and blocking.

Keywords: Classroom discourse; mathematics education; complexity

Author Biography

Evan Throop Robinson, St. Francis Xavier University

St. Francis Xavier University

Faculty of Education 

Assistant Professor