Inviting Rough Draft Thinking to Humanize the Mathematics Classroom (Affiliate Webinar)

Monday, March 28, 2019 - 7:00-8:00 PM EDT


Amanda Jansen, University of Delaware

Inspired by Douglas Barnes’s (2008) idea of exploratory talk, rough draft thinking is communicating to learn by sharing unfinished thinking and revising emerging ideas. Rough draft thinking can shift the classroom culture from a focus on performing correctness to a focus on learning mathematics through communicating. Students revise emerging ideas so that they do not passively receive knowledge, but actively build it. Learning mathematics becomes a process of continually developing new ways of seeing or thinking about a concept rather than finding answers quickly. Students develop agency and roles as wonderers and explorers through rough draft thinking. As a part of this webinar, I will reflect upon how inviting students to share their rough draft thinking can be viewed as an equity pedagogy. We humanize the classroom by releasing students from a burden, which is that the only way to make a contribution and be valuable to their classmates is to have the right answer quickly. Instead, in classrooms that invite rough draft thinking, more students’ ideas and ways of thinking become valuable to the class and more students become shared participants in the process of constructing ideas together.


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