Abstract by Alicia Heninger
Teacher Responses to Clarifiable Ambiguity
Ambiguous language arises in mathematics classrooms. While many people believe ambiguous language does not belong in mathematics, research has shown that the use of ambiguous language in a mathematics classroom is inevitable and can help facilitate discussion about new mathematical concepts. However, one particular subset of ambiguity that can be clarified in the moment is clarifiable ambiguity. Clarifiable ambiguity is ambiguity that stems from people using an unclear referent. Research done in teacher responses does not focus on how a teacher responds to clarifiable ambiguity. The research either assumes in their framework that the student thinking is already clear or that the unclear student thinking is not problematic. I will provide a rationale for conducting a research study on teachers’ recognition of and response to clarifiable ambiguity.