The Professional Practice and Professional Development of Mathematics Teachers


  • João Pedro da Ponte Universidade de Lisboa



Mathematics Teachers, Didactics of Mathematics, Professional Practice, Professional Development, Mathematics


Didactics of mathematics has developed internationally as a scientific field of studies in the late 1960s in the wake of the modern mathematics movement. Particularly important landmarks in this development were the creation of the journal Educational Studies in Mathematics by Hans Freudenthal in 1968, and the establishment of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education in 1970, with David Johnson as its first editor.

In Portugal, didactics of mathematics began as a research field between 1980 and 1990 when the first graduates had obtained their PhDs from foreign universities and when master’s degree programs were set up at Portuguese universities. The national research journal Quadrante was established in 1992. Since then, the mathematics teacher has been one of the subjects to receive the most attention from local and international researchers studying teacher conceptions, knowledge and professional practices, as well as teacher education, development and identity. In the last ten years, the focus on the teacher has clearly been centred on the professional practices, together with institutional conditions and teacher education processes that may promote their transformation in order to further students’ learning.


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Author Biography

João Pedro da Ponte, Universidade de Lisboa

João Pedro da Ponte is a professor and director of the Institute of Education of the University of Lisbon. Currently, his main research interests are mathematics teaching practices and teacher education, with a special focus on the teaching of algebra, rational numbers and statistics, and developing students’ mathematics reasoning. He coordinated a government report on pre-service teacher education (2006) and a new mathematics curriculum for basic education (2007). He is (co)author of several books, book chapters and articles in national and international journals such as Educational Studies in Mathematics and is associate editor of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.