Balancing classroom management with mathematical learning: Using practice-based task design in mathematics teacher education

Irene Biza, Elena Nardi, Gareth Joel

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In this paper we present the results from a study conducted in a UK institution in which 21mathematics pre-service teachers engage with two practice-based tasks featuring incidents where classroom management interferes with mathematical learning. We investigate their considerations when they make decisions in classroom situations and how these tasks can trigger their reflections on the teaching and learning of mathematics. In our analysis we used the constructs of social and sociomathematical norms (Cobb & Yackel, 1996) and Teaching Triad (Jaworski, 1994). Results indicate commendable norms pre-service teachers aspire to establish in their classroom, such as peer respect, value of discussion and investigative mathematical learning. However, they often miss the opportunity to engage students with metacognitive discussions and mathematical challenge as they focus on behavioural issues or endorse dichotomous and simplistic views of mathematical learning. We credit these tasks with allowing insight into pre-service teachers’ considerations and we propose their further implementation in teacher education programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-198
Number of pages17
JournalMathematics Teacher Education and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • mathematics teachers
  • mathematical learning
  • classroom management
  • social and sociomathematical norms
  • teaching triad

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