What we can name in the classroom: A Chilean lexicon of middle-school mathematics teachers

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This chapter introduces the process of creation of the Chilean Lexicon and its main features, locating them in the Chilean educational context. The lexicon was created by a team of researchers and teachers, undergoing several phases of refinement and validation. This included a consultation with the local educational community indicating that the terms are reasonably familiar to them. The lexicon contains 74 items, predominantly short phrases that are grouped in five categories: Subject-matter didactics (22 terms), General pedagogy (18 terms), Pedagogical interaction (16 terms), Classroom climate (9 terms), Structure/routine (12 terms), some terms belonging to more than one. Our lexicon’s focus is generic, with most of its terms being applicable to other subjects as well. This may relate to the fact that middle-school mathematics teachers hold generalist degrees and usually teach more than one subject, perhaps making general aspects of teaching more salient. Some of the terms relating to lesson structure and phases can be mapped onto the local Framework for Good Teaching that guides teachers’ professional activities. Furthermore, we documented agency connotations in the terms, finding that most terms refer to actions that are exclusive to teachers (37 terms). This apparent secondary role of students can be linked to classroom studies in the country, which show that teacher-led activities focused on transmitting information and practising skills are emphasised, with scarce opportunities for students’ contributions (Preiss et al., 2015, 2016). Implications of the lexicon for future research and professional development in Chile are discussed