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Graduate Defense: Mary Ramos-Duke

April 2 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Dissertation Defense

Dissertation Information

Title: Getting Comfortable: Delegating Authority While Positioning Students With Agency In Elementary Mathematics Classrooms

Program: Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor: Dr. Sara Hagenah, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Committee Members: Dr. Michael Jarry-Shore, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies (Co-Chair); Dr. Arturo Rodriguez, Literacy, Language, and Culture; and Dr. Joe Champion, Mathematics


This multiple case study explores how two elementary mathematics teachers made themselves and their students comfortable with the teacher delegating authority to students while also positioning students with agency. I conducted three Video Stimulated Recall (VSR) interviews and pre- and post-semi-structured interviews with each teacher to better understand their practices and thoughts about moments from their teaching related to authority and agency. The results indicate that while one teacher expressed being quite comfortable delegating authority and agency, the other expressed ways in which they mitigate their discomfort. Results also indicate that teachers make students and themselves comfortable with delegating authority while also positioning them with agency by getting to know their students through (a) creating time to understand students’ solutions, (b) accounting for students’ knowledge, culture, and language, and (c) attending to students’ emotional needs.