The Role of Framing in Productive Classroom Discussions: A Case for Teacher Learning

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In this paper, we contrast two mathematical arguments that occurred during an algebra lesson to illustrate the importance of relevant framings in the ensuing arguments. The lesson is taken from a graduate course for elementary teachers who are enrolled in a mathematics specialist program. We use constructs associated with enthnography of argumentation to characterize the framings for warrants and backings that supported the ensuing arguments. Our findings suggest that teachers fully participated in argumentations that were framed by problem situations that were familiar to them, ones that were couched in elementary, fundamental mathematical ideas, and that these types of argumentations were arguably more productive in terms of opportunities for learning.