Triggers of contingency in mathematics teaching

Tim Rowland, Anne Thwaites, Libby Jared

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Our research in the last decade has been into classroom situations that we perceive to make demands on mathematics teachers' disciplinary knowledge of content and pedagogy. Amongst the most visible of such situations are those that we describe as ‘contingent’, in which a teacher is faced with some unexpected event, and challenged to deviate from their planned agenda for the lesson. Our findings and the associated grounded theories have been open to enhancement and revision as new classroom data has been gathered. In this article, we propose a classification of the origins of contingent classroom episodes: namely the students; the teacher him/herself; and pedagogical tools and resources. This classification extends and elaborates our original conception of ‘contingent’, in response to more recent data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-91
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Mathematics Education
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • teacher knowledge
  • Knowledge Quartet (KQ)
  • contingency
  • lesson planning
  • technology

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