While the REVEAL study sought to understand staff facilitation in general, it was carried out in the context of exhibits that focused on math. In order to conduct a rigorous study, the team had to define the kind of mathematical reasoning we hoped to see and develop instruments to reliably measure it.
The REVEAL team created an overall framework for investigating visitors’ functional reasoning, consisting of four dimensions: (a) identifying mathematical quantities, (b) describing mathematical relationships, (c) exploring mathematical relationships, and (d) achieving mathematical goals. The rubrics for each exhibit were based on this framework and were used to code videos of families at the exhibits. The team also developed survey instruments to measure families’ enjoyment of the mathematics and awareness of the mathematics in the exhibit.
¹ Greenes, C. E., & Rubenstein, R. (Eds.). (2008). Algebra and algebraic thinking in school mathematics: Seventieth yearbook. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Kaput, J. J., Carraher, D. W., & Blanton, M. L. (2008). Algebra in the early grades. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates/National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.