Changing the way to Teach Maths: Preservice Primary Teachers’ Reflections on using Exploratory Talk in Teaching Mathematics


  • Carol Murphy University of Waikato


preservice teachers . exploratory talk . didactic strategies . mathematics learning . noticing


This paper reports on the reflections of twenty-one primary preservice teachers following a microteaching experience that focused on the use of talk and collaborative group work, as part of a primary mathematics specialist education programme. Based on the didactic strategies of exploratory talk, the experience intended to develop knowledge for teaching mathematics in a contingent way. Preservice teachers’ reflections from an online survey and from written recounts were analysed in relation to noticing students’ learning and behaviour. Whilst the preservice teachers indicated that the microteaching experience impacted on their teaching, some reflections revealed tensions in noticing student learning and in balancing a focus on both collaborative talk and mathematics content. These tensions suggest that resistance to change in the practice of novice teachers may not be due just to a conceptualisation of teaching mathematics but also to awareness of student mathematical thinking as knowing-to.

Author Biography

Carol Murphy, University of Waikato

Senior Lecturer

Te Hononga School of Curriculum and Pedagogy

Faculty of Education


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