Investigating Knowledge Shifts and Knowledge Agents in the mathematics classroom.

Leading team

Dr. Rina Hershkowitz

Dr. Michal Tabach

Prof. Chris Rasmussen

Prof. Tommy Dreyfus


Knowledge shifts between different social settings in a mathematics classroom are important during knowledge constructing processes. Our overall goal is to illuminate the role played by individuals and groups, and by the teacher, in such knowledge shifts. To better understand the mechanism of knowledge shifts, we combined two approaches/methodologies that are usually carried out separately: The Abstraction in Context approach (AiC) and the Documenting Collective Activity approach (DCA), each with its methodology. Using this combination on empirical data from different classrooms revealed that students may function as Knowledge Agents, meaning they are active in knowledge shifts among individuals in a group, from one small group to another one, from their group to the whole class, within the whole class, or from the whole class to their group. The analysis also showed that the teacher may adopt the role of an orchestrator of the learning process in a learning environment that affords argumentation and interaction. This enables normative ways of reasoning to be established and enables students to be active and become knowledge agents.

Related Publications

  • Tabach, M., Hershkowitz, R., Rasmussen, C., & Dreyfus, T. (2014). Knowledge shifts and knowledge agents in the classroom. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 33, 192- 208.
  • Hershkowitz, R., Tabach, M., Rasmussen, T., & Dreyfus, T. (2014). Knowledge shifts in a probability classroom – A case study coordinating two methodologies. Zentralblatt f?r Didaktik der Mathematik (ZDM) – The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 46, 363-387.