Teachers’ Mathematical Tensions Surfacing During the First Session of a Problem-Solving Professional Development Workshop

Part of the Research in Mathematics Education book series (RME)


When teachers participating in a professional development workshop discuss their experiences during a problem-solving session, they sometimes express a sense of imbalance or discomfort rooted in the contrast between these experiences and their abilities and previous mathematical self-perceptions, beliefs, and knowledge. These are expressions of what we call mathematical tensions, and it is the purpose of this chapter to classify them and to discuss their appearance as a healthy sign of the effectiveness of the professional development workshop. Our data have been taken from the first of eight sessions of a 30-hour workshop held over the course of 1 year, which included 147 elementary and middle school teachers.


Professional development Problem solving Teachers’ tensions Mathematical tensions 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees for many suggestions that made the chapter better. P. F. was partially funded by PIA-CONICYT Basal Funds for Centers of Excellence Project FB0003 and Grant PAI AFB-170001. J.P-D. was partially funded by Proyecto de Investigación del Plan Nacional del MICINN con Referencia EDU2017-84276-R.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de La LagunaSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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