Clarifiable Ambiguity in Classroom Mathematics Discourse
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Ambiguity is a natural part of communication in a mathematics classroom. In this paper, a particular subset of ambiguity is characterized as clarifiable. Clarifiable ambiguity in classroom mathematics discourse is common, frequently goes unaddressed, and unnecessarily hinders in-the-moment communication because it likely could be made more clear in a relatively straightforward way if it were attended to. We argue for deliberate attention to clarifiable ambiguity as a critical aspect of attending to meaning and as a necessary precursor to productive use of student mathematical thinking. We illustrate clarifiable ambiguity that occurs in mathematics classrooms and consider ramifications of not addressing it. We conclude the paper with a discussion about addressing clarifiable ambiguity through seeking focused clarification.
Investigations in Mathematics Learning
Van Zoest, L.,
Stockero, S. L.
Clarifiable Ambiguity in Classroom Mathematics Discourse.
Investigations in Mathematics Learning,
Retrieved from: https://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/michigantech-p/2027