Pedagogical context and proof validation: The role of positioning as a teacher or student

Erin E. Baldinger, Yvonne Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent research shows the promise of using tasks that situate mathematics in a pedagogical context in courses for secondary teachers. Such tasks can engage teachers in connecting undergraduate mathematics and secondary mathematics teaching, even when pedagogical knowledge is not needed to solve the task. We examine the phenomenon that the presence of pedagogical context appears to change the work of a mathematical task. We presented 17 practicing secondary teachers with the same set of arguments to validate, first in the context of teaching secondary mathematics, and then in the context of a university mathematics course. We argue that the construct of social positioning – as a student or teacher – explains differences in secondary teachers’ validations as well as the problem of disconnection between undergraduate mathematics and secondary teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100698
JournalJournal of Mathematical Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Mathematical knowledge for teaching
  • Proof validation
  • Secondary teachers
  • Social positioning


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