• Gil Schwarts
  • Avital Elbaum-Cohen
  • Birte Pöhler
  • Susanne Prediger
  • Abraham Arcavi
  • Ronnie Karsenty
Professional development (PD) courses are the main context for mathematics teachers’ lifelong learning. Leaders with expertise are needed to facilitate these courses; thus, there is a growing interest in understanding the nature of this profession, its core practices, and the challenges it entails. This paper focuses on a specific group of facilitators: experienced mathematics teachers who have just begun facilitating PD courses in addition to their classroom teaching. To better understand these novice facilitators’ practices, a commognitive approach was implemented to examine how they draw on their mathematics teaching experience when leading PD courses. In commognitive terms, these practitioners draw on multiple professional discourses, but mostly on the discourses of teaching and facilitation. The analysis of the challenges and affordances associated with participating in these two professional discourses showed that novice facilitators bring into play their teaching practices in four distinct ways: enacting a familiar practice, negating a familiar practice, questioning the relevance of a familiar practice, and generating a new practice based on their teaching experience. We claim that novice facilitators’ well-established identity as teachers is both a challenge and an asset in grounding successful facilitation practices. Overall, facilitators modify their teaching experience through the adoption, adaptation, and retraction of their teaching practices. Implications for the preparation and support of facilitators, within processes of upscaling PD programs, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Number of pages20
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22.09.2022
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    Research areas

  • Novice facilitators, Facilitation discourse, Facilitators' identity, Commognition

ID: 5400965