The challenge of changing teaching: investigating the interplay of external and internal influences during professional learning with secondary mathematics teachers

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Mathematics teaching at secondary levels has proven surprisingly resistant to change over the past century. This study draws on two theoretical models to investigate how the process of changing secondary teaching in algebra through school-based professional learning might occur, and its relationship to different external and internal influences on teachers and researchers. A cyclic change model is used to discuss three different change pathways that were found amongst six practising secondary teachers participating in an algebra teaching experiment, one phase of a larger design-based research project. Meta-didactical transposition is used to examine the dynamics between teachers and researchers and the institutional dimension of professional learning. Affordances and constraints related to the teachers’ internal domains and social contexts in responding to professional learning opportunities are discussed. The bidirectional nature of brokering processes between teachers and researchers during professional learning is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-124
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Teacher professional learning
  • Classroom experimentation
  • Meta-didactical transposition
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Algebra
  • Secondary mathematics

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