Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 301-309

First online:

Using Tasks to Explore Teacher Knowledge in Situation-Specific Contexts

  • Irene BizaAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of Athens
  • , Elena NardiAffiliated withSchool of Education, University of East Anglia Email author 
  • , Theodossios ZachariadesAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, University of Athens

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Research often reports an overt discrepancy between theoretically/out-of context expressed teacher beliefs about mathematics and pedagogy and actual practice. In order to explore teacher knowledge in situation-specific contexts we have engaged mathematics teachers with classroom scenarios (Tasks) which: are hypothetical but grounded on learning and teaching issues that previous research and experience have highlighted as seminal; are likely to occur in actual practice; have purpose and utility; and, can be used both in (pre- and in-service) teacher education and research through generating access to teachers’ views and intended practices. The Tasks have the following structure: reflecting upon the learning objectives within a mathematical problem (and solving it); examining a flawed (fictional) student solution; and, describing, in writing, feedback to the student. Here we draw on the written responses to one Task (which involved reflecting on solutions of \( {\left| x \right|} + {\left| {x - 1} \right|} = 0 \)) of 53 Greek in-service mathematics teachers in order to demonstrate the range of teacher knowledge (mathematical, didactical and pedagogical) that engagement with these tasks allows us to explore.


Teacher knowledge Task Algebra Absolute value