During the last decades, curriculum reform has been implemented in mainland China to emphasize classroom interaction in mathematics teaching and learning. The intention to create more chances for classroom interaction in large-size classrooms has led to the introduction of self-learning guide which allows students to go through the learning contents before the classroom learning. This study investigates the pedagogical tensions emerging in a mainland Chinese mathematics teacher’s practices of using self-learning guide to reform classroom questioning. The analytical entry point is the examination of the IRF (Initiation/Response/Follow-up) structures evident in the reform-based mathematics classroom interactions. The results show that, by using various reform-based questioning strategies, students were given adequate opportunities to present and share their mathematical thinking and ideas. The nature of the pedagogical tensions has shifted from imbalance of time allocation for classroom discussion and lecturing to imbalance of opportunities for guided classroom discussion and elaborated classroom discussion.
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