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Mathematical-metacognitive discourse: how can it be developed among teachers and their students? Empirical evidence from a videotaped lesson and two case studies

  • Anat Shilo
  • Bracha KramarskiEmail author
Original Article


This study aims to investigate a mathematical-metacognitive discourse model with IMPROVE metacognitive self-question prompts (What, How/When, and Why) in order to promote a deeper level of discourse in mathematics classes. The study involved 32 math teachers and 824 fifth-grade students (from 32 public schools) from one district in Israel. Participants were assigned to a randomized, controlled quasi-experimental trial, including an experimental group exposed to mathematical-metacognitive discourse, focusing on metacognitive skills (i.e., planning, monitoring, and reflection) used to arrive at solutions, and a control group exposed to mathematical discourse, focusing on cognitive knowledge (i.e., declarative, procedural, and explanatory). An in-depth analysis was conducted, using a mixed approach (quantitative and qualitative), of a recorded video teacher-student class discourse lesson at the end of the study in each class (n = 32) as well as case studies of two teachers (one from each group) focusing on discourse pattern and their talk moves in class. The findings indicated that the experimental group exhibited more conceptual verbalization related to planning and reflection processes, whereas the control group scored the highest with regard to procedural knowledge. As a transfer measure from the intervention program at the end of the study, students in the experimental group outperformed the control group in terms of problem-solving and sensemaking performance. This study contributes further to understanding discourse by introducing the concept of mathematical-metacognitive discourse competence. Moreover, the study has practical implications for the promotion of discourse in mathematical lessons.


Mathematical-metacognitive discourse Mathematical performance Intervention study Class discourse videotaped lesson Case study 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11858_2018_1016_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (187 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 186 KB)


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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