Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Elizabeth Hughes


Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school); Girls--Education; Gifted children--Education; Discussion;


Discourse is a tool used by mathematics teachers to help deepen mathematical understanding and build students’ mathematical identities. Teachers face the challenge of establishing and maintaining classroom norms that help discussions deepen mathematical understanding as well as meet the needs of all of their students. The researcher focused on what girls and the mathematically gifted need from discourse and how to create an equitable environment for all students. Girls need to be given equitable opportunities to voice their thoughts, and mathematically gifted students need to be adequately challenged, not just given more work. The researcher interviewed three teachers who employ discourse in their classrooms to understand how they implement equity in discourse and their thoughts on its effectiveness for building mathematical identity. Teachers utilized similar classroom norm establishment methods and agreed that students need constant reminders of these norms in order to maintain them. How the teachers defined equity in discourse directly influenced how they viewed its usefulness in building mathematical identity.

equity, discourse, mathematics, middle school, girls, women, mathematically gifted, gifted students, TAG, classroom norms

Date of Award



Department of Mathematics

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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