Investigating the Interplay of Argumentation and Mathematics in Classroom Tasks

Group Members

Megan Brown, Grace WrightMath Ed


Steven Lemay


This project was motivated by the current emphasis on argumentation in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. In particular, we focused on tasks that address the third standard for Mathematical Practice that highlights argumentation as an expertise all students should develop. Our data consists of 157 tasks from 40 elementary and high school teachers participating in a professional development program focused on mathematical argumentation. We analyzed how argumentation affects the cognitive demand levels of the tasks, as well as how argumentation detracts or contributes to the mathematical content in the tasks. Our findings show a change in cognitive demand levels when tasks were analyzed with and without the argumentation component. In addition, five different themes emerged from our analysis with regards to the interplay of argumentation and mathematical concepts, some of which were common across elementary and high school tasks.