Open Access

Establishing a Community of Discourse Through Social Norms


While researchers, educators, state and national organizations, and policy makers are taking strides to help transform traditional mathematics classrooms into inquiry-based classrooms, they fail to address how to bridge the gap between creating discussions to developing mathematical discourse. One key component for producing inquiry-based classrooms is to have effective discussions (Smith & Stein, 2011). However, to have effective discussions, social norms must be in place that promote active participation from students (Sherin, 2002). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to synthesize educational research on social norms in the mathematics classroom to identify key components teacher educators can focus on to help teachers establish and implement social norms that promote sustainable inquiry-based classrooms. Results suggest social norms must be developed through collaboration of the teacher and students, the classroom environment must be supportive of mathematical discussion, and finally, norms should be (re)negotiated to help change students’ ways of thinking.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, other