Everyday Matters in Science and Mathematics

Studies of Complex Classroom Events

Edited by Ricardo Nemirovsky, Ann S. Rosebery, Jesse Solomon, Beth Warren

© 2004 – Routledge

232 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805847239
pub: 2004-10-12
US Dollars$70.95
Hardback: 9780805847222
pub: 2004-10-21
US Dollars$170.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book re-examines the dichotomy between the everyday and the disciplinary in mathematics and science education, and explores alternatives to this opposition from points of view grounded in the close examination of complex classroom events. It makes the case that students' everyday experience and knowledge in their entire manifold forms matter crucially in learning sciences and mathematics. The contributions of 13 research teams are organized around three themes: 1) the experiences of students in encounters with everyday matters of a discipline; 2) the concerns of curriculum designers, including teachers, as they design activities intended to focus on everyday matters of a discipline; and 3) the actions of teachers as they create classroom encounters with everyday matters of a discipline.

As a whole the volume reflects the shift in the field of educational research in recent years away from formal, structural models of learning toward emphasizing its situated nature and the sociocultural bases of teaching and learning. At least two trends--increasing awareness that formal theories can be useful guides but are always partial and provisional in how they disclose classroom experiences, and the widespread availability of video and audio equipment that enables effortless recording of classroom interactions--have reoriented the field by allowing researchers and teachers to look at learning starting with complex classroom events rather than formal theories of learning. Such examinations are not meant to replace the work on general theoretical frameworks, but to ground them in actual complex events. This reorientation means that researchers and teachers can now encounter the complexity of learning and teaching as lived, human meaning-making experiences. Immersion in this complexity compels rethinking assumptions about the dichotomies that have traditionally organized the field's thinking about learning. Further, it has important implications for how the relationship between theory and practice in understanding teaching and learning is viewed.

Everyday Matters in Science and Mathematics: Studies of Complex Classroom Events is an important resource for researchers, teacher educators, and graduate students in mathematics and science education, and a strong supplemental text for courses in these areas and also in cognition and instruction and instructional design.


"Everyday Matters in Science and Mathematics is an important resource for researchers, teacher educators, and graduate students in mathematics and science education, and a strong supplemental text for courses in these areas as well as in cognition, instruction, and instructional design."


"A focus of continuing debate in mathematics and science education is the value of ordinary, everyday experience in learning of disciplines. Using specific episodes from the elementary classroom, the editors uncover students' competencies derived from their everyday experiences and explore ways to build on these competencies to promote development of disciplinary learning. The insights gained in reviewing these distinct cases encourage readers to consider the students' everyday understanding as a resource in developing their more mature understanding in math and science. Recommended."


"The editors have convened an exemplary group of authors..Together they reflect some of the best researchers in the fields of mathematics and science education. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of practitioners as active constructors of the volume as well as of the research agenda. The volume provides a balanced emphasis on issues of teaching, learning, development, and research….It is quite important to bring these careful and detailed accounts of the realities of classroom learning to the attention of the educational research and policy community, especially now when there is a strong push to declare some forms of research scientific and trustworthy while other forms are marginalized….Taken together the chapters put a different light on the knowledge children bring to learning tasks in formal settings….[This is] a very substantive volume."

Susan R. Goldman

University of Illinois at Chicago

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Experiences of Students in Encounters With Everyday Matters of Science and Mathematics. S. Monk, "Why Would Run Be in Speed?" Artifacts and Situated Actions in a Curricular Plan. R. Nemirovsky, Mathematical Places. C. Valentine, T.P. Carpenter, M. Pligge, Developing Concepts of Justification and Proof in a Sixth-Grade Classroom. B. Warren, M. Ogonowski, S. Pothier, "Everyday" and "Scientific": Rethinking Dichotomies in Modes of Thinking in Science Learning. Part II: Actions of Teachers as They Participate in the Creation of Classroom Encounters With Everyday Matters of Science and Mathematics. K. McClain, The Mathematics Behind the Graph: Discussions of Data. E. Forman, E. Ansell, Creating Mathematics Stories: Learning to Explain in a Third-Grade Classroom. M.L. Blanton, J.J. Kaput, Instructional Contexts That Support Students' Transition From Arithmetic to Algebraic Reasoning: Elements of Tasks and Culture. Part III: Concerns of Curriculum Designers as They Develop Activities Intended to Focus on Everyday Matters of Science and Mathematics. E. Feijs, Constructing a Learning Environment That Promotes Reinvention. J.L. Cartier, C.M. Passmore, J. Stewart, J.P. Willauer, Involving Students in Realistic Scientific Practice: Strategies for Laying Epistemological Groundwork. A.S. Rosebery, "What Are We Going to Do Next?": Lesson Planning as a Resource for Teaching. B.L. Sherin, F.S. Azevedo, A.A. diSessa, Exploration Zones: A Framework for Describing the Emergent Structure of Learning Activities.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Mathematics
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology