Immigrant Students’ Stories About Learning Mathematics in Groups

Miwa Aoki Takeuchi, Venise Bryan, Silvana Valera, Shima Dadkhahfard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Focusing on the context of linguistically and racially heterogeneous Canadian schools, this article describes the “figured worlds” as discussed by Holland, Skinner, Lachicotte Jr, & Cain (1998, p. 52) of group work: the stories, characters, and roles that students envisioned in the setting of group work. The study was conducted in linguistically and racially diverse mathematics classrooms wherein group work was regularly used. We combined various methods, including questionnaires on group work experiences, video-recorded group work interactions of participants’ mathematics problem solving, and video-mediated interviews, in order to examine participants’ experiences with group work from multiple angles. In this context, most students, including newly arrived immigrant students, reported benefiting from group work and working with others. Focusing on immigrant students, our findings also offer insights into how students interpreted particular segments of video, from their figured worlds of group work in school. We depict how figured worlds of group work and friendship were intertwined, and how figured worlds of successful group work and the rule of equal participation interacted. Based on our findings, we discuss the importance of negotiating the multifaceted meanings of “success” in group work for mathematics learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-253
Number of pages17
JournalCanadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep. 2019


  • Collaboration
  • Group work
  • Immigrant students
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Mathematics learning


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