"I'm telling!" : exploring sources of peer authority during a K-2 collaborative mathematics activity

Title: "I'm telling!" : exploring sources of peer authority during a K-2 collaborative mathematics activity
Source document: Studia paedagogica. 2021, vol. 26, iss. 2, pp. [97]-111
  • ISSN
    1803-7437 (print)
    2336-4521 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
This article draws from a study on the construction of authority relations among K-2 students across 20 videos of collaborative mathematics partnerships, from three classrooms in one elementary school. Drawing on positioning theory, we explore how authority relations between children affected collaborative dynamics. In particular, we trace how children drew on both adult and peer sources of authority and the effects on peer interactions during collaboration. Through three vignettes, we show how students' deployment of adult authority through the perceived threat of getting in trouble can overpower peer resistance and shut down possibilities for shared work. We also show how peer resistance was productively sustained when the threat of getting in trouble was less directly connected to the teacher, and instead students positioned themselves and one another with intellectual authority.
[1] Anderson, K. (2009). Applying positioning theory to the analysis of classroom interactions: Mediating micro-identities, macro-kinds, and ideologies of knowing. Linguistics and Education, 20(4), 291–310. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2009.08.001 | DOI 10.1016/j.linged.2009.08.001

[2] Bishop, J. P. (2012). "She's always been the smart one. I've always been the dumb one": Identities in the mathematics classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 43(1), 34–74. https://doi.org/10.5951/jresematheduc.43.1.0034 | DOI 10.5951/jresematheduc.43.1.0034

[3] Bohart, A. C., & Stipek, D. J. (2001). What have we learned?. In A. C. Bohart & D. J. Stipek (Eds.), Constructive & destructive behavior: Implications for family, school, & society (pp. 367–397). American Psychological Association.

[4] Cohen, E. G., & Lotan, R. A. (1997). Working for equity in heterogeneous classrooms: Sociological theory in practice. Teachers College Press.

[5] Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20(1), 43–63. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5914.1990.tb00174.x | DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.1990.tb00174.x

[6] Esmonde, I., & Langer-Osuna, J. (2013). Power in numbers: Student participation in mathematical discussions in heterogeneous spaces. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(1), 288–315. https://doi.org/10.5951/jresematheduc.44.1.0288 | DOI 10.5951/jresematheduc.44.1.0288

[7] Fosnot, C. (2007). Contexts for learning mathematics. Heinemann.

[8] Hawley, P. H. (2002). Social dominance and prosocial and coercive strategies of resource control in preschoolers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26(2), 167–176. https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250042000726 | DOI 10.1080/01650250042000726

[9] Kotsopoulos, D. (2014). The case of Mitchell's cube: Interactive and reflexive positioning during collaborative learning in mathematics. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 21(1), 34–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/10749039.2013.790905 | DOI 10.1080/10749039.2013.790905

[10] Langer-Osuna, J. (2011). How Brianna became bossy and Kofi came out smart: Understanding the differentially mediated identity and engagement of two group leaders in a project-based mathematics classroom. The Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 11(3), 207–225. https://doi.org/10.1080/14926156.2011.595881 | DOI 10.1080/14926156.2011.595881

[11] Langer-Osuna, J. (2016). The social construction of authority among peers and its implications for collaborative mathematics problem solving. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 18(2), 107–124. https://doi.org/10.1080/10986065.2016.1148529 | DOI 10.1080/10986065.2016.1148529

[12] Langer-Osuna, J., Munson, J., Gargroetzi, E., Williams, I., & Chavez, R. (2020). "So what are we working on?": How student authority relations shift during collaborative mathematics activity. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 104(3), 333–349. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-020-09962-3 | DOI 10.1007/s10649-020-09962-3

[13] Lease, A. M., Kennedy, C. A., & Axelrod, J. L. (2002). Children's social constructions of popularity. Social Development, 11(1), 87–109. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00188 | DOI 10.1111/1467-9507.00188

[14] Ostrov, J. M., & Guzzo, J. L. (2015). Prospective associations between prosocial behavior and social dominance in early childhood: Are sharers the best leaders?. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 176(2), 130–138. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2015.1018860 | DOI 10.1080/00221325.2015.1018860

[15] Pellegrini, A. D., Roseth, C. J., Mliner, S., Bohn, C. M., Van Ryzin, M., Vance, N., Cheatham, C. L., & Tarullo, A. (2007). Social dominance in preschool classrooms. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 121(1), 54–64. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7036.121.1.54 | DOI 10.1037/0735-7036.121.1.54

[16] Wood, M. B. (2013). Mathematical micro-identities: Moment-to-moment positioning and learning in a fourth-grade classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 44(5), 775–808. https://doi.org/10.5951/jresematheduc.44.5.0775 | DOI 10.5951/jresematheduc.44.5.0775