Anticipating students’ reasoning and planning prompts in structured problem-solving lessons

Colleen Vale, Wanty Widjaja, Brian Doig, Susie Groves

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Structured problem-solving lessons are used to explore mathematical concepts such as pattern and relationships in early algebra, and regularly used in Japanese Lesson Study research lessons. However, enactment of structured problem-solving lessons which involves detailed planning, anticipation of student solutions and orchestration of whole-class discussion of solutions is an ongoing challenge for many teachers. Moreover, primary teachers have limited experience in teaching early algebra or mathematical reasoning actions such as generalising. In this study, the critical factors of enacting the structured problem-solving lessons used in Japanese Lesson Study to elicit and develop primary students’ capacity to generalise are explored. Teachers from three primary schools participated in two Japanese Lesson Study teams for this study. The lesson plans and video recordings of teaching and post-lesson discussion of the two research lessons along with students’ responses and learning are compared to identify critical factors. The anticipation of students’ reasoning together with preparation of supporting and challenging prompts was critical for scaffolding students’ capacity to grasp and communicate generality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1
    Pages (from-to)1-25
    Number of pages25
    JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


    • Anticipated solutions
    • Generalising
    • Lesson study
    • Orchestrated discussion
    • Reasoning
    • Structured problem solving
    • Teacher actions

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