Ready Classroom Mathematics.


Orchestrating Mathematical Discourse to Enhance Student Learning whitepaper.

Orchestrating Mathematical Discourse to Enhance Student Learning

Author: Gladis Kersaint, Ph.D.


The importance of engaging students in meaningful mathematical discussion has long been identified as an essential component of students’ mathematics learning. When students share and exchange their ideas, they are able to reflect on their own understanding while making sense of and critiquing the ideas of others in a collaborative and supportive learning environment.

This whitepaper examines why discourse plays such an important role in furthering student understanding of mathematical concepts. It also outlines strategies to support mathematical discussion in today’s classrooms, including:

  • Strategies for engaging every student in mathematical discourse
  • Classroom environments that support mathematical dialogue
  • Tools to plan and lead discourse
  • Different approaches for communicating mathematical knowledge

Gladis Kersaint, Ph.D.

Gladis is the Dean of the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut and a respected scholar in mathematics education. She has published books, chapters, and journal articles on teacher education, effective teaching of at-risk students, and the use of technology in teaching and learning. She was a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Board of Directors and Executive Committee for three years and served on the editorial panel of Mathematics Teacher Educator. Her work is driven by the belief that all students deserve equitable access and opportunities to learn mathematics so they can benefit from the options education provides.

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