UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTING A MULTIPLE SOLUTION NORM
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Most mathematics educators endorse the idea that important concepts and procedures should be taught by asking students to solve problems whose solutions can be derived by multiple solution methods. This vision for classroom activity involves the teacher routinely soliciting multiple ideas for solving a single problem; students communicating what they are thinking; students respectfully listening to what others say; and students discussing their solution methods and comparing the advantages or each. This dissertation explores some of the practical challenges that teachers face when using multiple solutions in the mathematics classrooms, and considers how teachers might address these challenges. In addition, this dissertation puts forth a theoretical framework for analyzing how classrooms make use of students' multiple solutions. These issues were examined by utilizing a first-person research methodology in an eighth grade classroom with students who had a history of behavioral concerns and low academic performance.