On the making of a new mathematics teacher: professional development, subjectivation, and resistance to change

Abstract

Reform-based discourses in mathematics education have fabricated different subjectivities for teachers such as the “traditional” and the “new” teacher. Professional development programs are proposed as effective mechanisms to fabricate the “new” teacher. However, this teacher has proved hard to produce. Thus, the “resistor” teacher has emerged into the field as a way to explain failure within school mathematics reform. In this article, I assume that resistance is a consequential response against particular forms of subjectivation imposed on mathematics teachers. Using conceptual tools from Hall and Foucault, I explore the ways wherein a high school mathematics teacher reinvents meanings of being a mathematics teacher in the context of a professional development program aimed to implement problem-solving instruction. Against the myth of the resistor teacher unwilling to change, what emerges is a process of struggle over meaning. School mathematics reform, considered as an ideological event, becomes a site in which competing meanings about being a mathematics teacher are negotiated, contested, and resisted.

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Funding

Funding from PIA-CONICYT Basal Funds for Centers of Excellence Project FB0003 and CONICYT/FONDECYT #3180238 is gratefully recognized.

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Correspondence to Luz Valoyes-Chávez.

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Valoyes-Chávez, L. On the making of a new mathematics teacher: professional development, subjectivation, and resistance to change. Educ Stud Math 100, 177–191 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-018-9869-5

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Keywords

  • Professional development programs
  • Mathematics teacher
  • Resistance
  • Subjectivities
  • Meaning