Challenging undergraduate students’ mathematical and pedagogical discourses through MathTASK activities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Mathematics education courses in mathematics undergraduate programs often aim to introduce students to the field of mathematics education research (RME) or/and to prepare them for the profession of mathematics teaching. This aim re-quires a balance of attention to mathematical content together with attention to RME findings. Such balance is the focus of this chapter in which we propose course activities and an assessment frame for undergraduates’ engagement with both mathematical and pedagogical discourses. We draw on the MathTASK program to present the design principles of activities that contextualize the use of mathematics education theory and mathematical content to specific learning situations that may emerge in the classroom. Such activities pose mathematical and pedagogical challenge (MC and PC) to often long-held views about mathematics and its pedagogy. Participants were eight final year undergraduate mathematics students who attended a mathematics education course, in which aforementioned activities were part of their formative and summative assessment. Analysis of student responses through a commognitive lens examined the students’ reification of mathematical and pedagogical discourse (RMD and RPD) in response to MC and PC by the end of the course. Here, we sample evidence of how students responded to MC (e.g., in terms of mathematical accuracy) and PC (e.g., in terms of routines, narratives and word use in their engagement with RME) and we explore the relation between RMD and RPD in their responses. Our findings highlight the capacity of MathTASK activities to challenge, and potentially shift, students’ often deeply rooted mathematical and pedagogical narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMathematical Challenge for All
EditorsRoza Leikin
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jun 2022


  • MathTASK
  • mathematical discourse
  • mathematics education discourse
  • undergraduate mathematics
  • mathematical challenge
  • pedagogical challenge
  • formative and summative assessment

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