The International Classroom Lexicon Project: Giving a Name to What Teachers Do

Theatre Q230, Level 2, Kwong Lee Dow Building, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Mathematics & Science Education Research Seminar

The professional vocabulary of mathematics teachers profoundly shapes their teaching and their capacity to reflect on their practice. The Lexicon Project documents the naming systems (lexicons) employed by ten different communities speaking nine different languages to describe the phenomena of the mathematics classroom.

This presentation will report the characteristics, structure and distinctive features of the Australian Lexicon and illustrate these with specific examples. Each lexicon contains the encrypted pedagogical history and cultural norms of its community and provides the essential tools for teacher action and reflection. Constructs other communities have chosen to name, which are currently unrecognized in the Australian lexicon, will also be shared.

Carmel Mesiti is Research Fellow and Centre Coordinator of the International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR) at the University of Melbourne. Carmel is Project Manager of the International Classroom Lexicon Project involving ten teams internationally.

Her research interests have included lesson structure, lesson beginnings, mathematical tasks, research agendas of policy makers and teachers, coherence in the mathematics classroom and more recently, the nature of differences in the pedagogical lexicons of education communities internationally.

In 2017 Carmel was awarded a Research Leadership Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to a program of internationally significant research.