Problematizing mathematics and its pedagogy through teacher engagement with history-focused and classroom situation-specific tasks

Bruna Moustapha Correa, Aline Bernardes, Victor Giraldo, Irene Biza, Elena Nardi

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We explore the conjecture that engaging teachers with activities which feature mathematical practices from the past (history-focused tasks) and in today’s mathematics classrooms (mathtasks) can promote teachers’ problematizing of mathematics and its pedagogy. Here, we sample evidence of discursive shifts observed as twelve mathematics teachers engage with a set of problematizing activities (PA) – three rounds of history-focused and mathtask combinations – during a four–month postgraduate course. We trace how the commognitive conflicts orchestrated in the PA triggered changes in the teachers’ narratives about: mathematical objects (such as what a function is); how mathematical objects come to be (such as what led to the emergence of the function object); and, pedagogy (such as what value may lie in listening to students or in trialing innovative assessment practices). Our study explores a hitherto under-researched capacity of the commognitive framework to steer the design, evidence identification and impact evaluation of pedagogical interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100840
JournalThe Journal of Mathematical Behavior
Early online date23 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Teacher mathematical and pedagogical discourses
  • mathematics teacher education
  • MathTASK
  • problematizing
  • history of mathematics
  • theory of commognition

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