Document Type



The most common pattern of classroom discourse follows a three-part exchange of teacher initiation, student response, and teacher evaluation or follow-up (IRE/IRF) (Cazden, 2001). Although sometimes described as encouraging illusory understanding (Lemke, 1990), triadic exchanges can mediate meaning (Nassaji & Wells, 2000). This paper focuses on one case from a study of discursive practices of seven middle grades teachers identified for their expertise in mathematics instruction. The central result of the study was the development of a model to explain how teachers use discourse to mediate mathematical meaning in whole group instruction. Drawing on the model for analysis, thick descriptions of one teacher’s skillful orchestration of triadic exchanges that enhance student understanding of mathematics are presented.

AERA05TruxawWeb.ppt (439 kB)
PowerPresentation accompanies text