An Enactivist Perspective on Teaching Mathematics: Reconceptualising and Expanding Teaching Actions


  • Jo Towers University of Calgary
  • Jérôme Proulx Université du Québec à Montréal


We reject a trajectory approach to teaching that classifies "good" and "bad" teaching actions and seeks to move teachers' practices from one of these poles to the other. In this article we offer instead a conceptualisation of mathematics teaching actions as a "landscape of possibilities". We draw together terms commonly used in the literature to describe teaching strategies, and add our own, to offer an expanded view of teaching actions. We illustrate each with data extracts drawn from our various studies of mathematics teachers and classrooms, and explain how a range of teaching actions can be woven into a coherent teaching practice. Note that we are not talking about growth in teaching in this paper, nor about change in teachers' practice over time. We aim to simply talk about and conceptualise teaching in ways that can broaden our understanding of it.