At the Risk of Sharing: Student perceptions of academic or social risk when sharing problem-solving strategies in Algebra

We are starting a new research project in Upper I classrooms (IRB#10-001359). The project explores the social and academic factors that influence children sharing their mathematical strategies with one another. Within a series of a set of pre-Algebra lessons that emphasize multiple strategies for solutions, students will be observed and asked to write written reflections on the ideas they shared and their feelings about sharing those ideas. The goal of the project is to encourage students sharing their mathematical strategies – a practice known to bolster understanding and enhance intellectual and social development – by better understanding what factors into their decisions about sharing an idea. These factors may include concerns that peers will socially or academically (mis)judge their ideas, consideration of how many people are listening to the idea (i.e., sharing in pairs, groups or whole-class), or some consideration of how well the teacher will support and work to help make their ideas more clear. As part of the study your child may be interviewed, asked to complete self-reflections on sharing strategies and hearing others’ shared strategies, and we will examine his/her in-class work. As you have already signed the blanket consent form, you do not have to sign any additional forms. Additionally, if in the blanket consent form you gave us permission to do so, your child may be videotaped while they are engaged with the lesson. If you have any questions about the study please contact Dr. Tesha Sengupta-Irving, Post-Doc with CONNECT at (310) 825-2622.