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  • Special Issue: Mathematics Teaching: a Professional Problem for Teachers at Different Levels of Education


    Mathematics teaching takes place within a specific social context and is intended for individuals who consider themselves citizens of that society rather than another. The application of mathematical knowledge presupposes its usability, making it important for those who study it to see mathematics as a practical and useful subject that can be applied to a wide variety of problems and phenomena. These applications are increasingly prevalent across many disciplines and professions, forcing us not to isolate the teaching of mathematics from the other disciplines that comprise curriculum design. To this end, the task of teaching is conceived as a mediation so that all activities carried out in educational institutions are meaningful and stimulate the development potential of each student through cooperative work done in groups.


    Teachers in the current school system must: know how to listen to the demands of students and the community in general; demonstrate fluency in oral communication so that their ideas and guidance are understood by their interlocutors; adapt to the changing conditions of the environment in which they work and generate creative responses; use the opportunities that the environment offers in order to minimize and transform the threats and weaknesses that manifest themselves in that same context; develop self-confidence, motivation to work towards a goal, desire to develop one's career and take pride in what has been achieved; generate and develop spaces for collaboration and teamwork that allow them to obtain skills to negotiate disagreements; achieve effectiveness in the organization through the desire to contribute with their ideas to achieve common objectives and enhance their leadership capabilities.


    The foregoing, non-exhaustive statement of some of the qualities assigned to this teaching professional can be assumed as a combination of common sense with specialized knowledge and skill acquired through professional practice. A synergy between the faculties that make up their emotional intelligence (self-knowledge, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, relationship skills) and those that delineate their cognitive structure as a mathematics teacher is required of this professional.


    This special issue invites thoughtful reading about the profession of teaching mathematics in the classrooms of the different levels that make up the educational systems. Assuming oneself professionally allows the teacher to take into account that the natural functioning of the didactic situations that he provides to his students leads them to locally adapted knowledge. In these classrooms, the mechanical search for solutions to problems can be replaced by conjecture, invention, and resolution of open situations, where not all the information is always available – or there is more than necessary – where the solution does not always exist or is not unique and where "the other" appears as an unavoidable figure for learning. The learning of mathematics thus becomes an eminently individual act, and becomes a social activity in which discussion and the sharing of ideas, suggestions, and proposals prevail. The profession of teaching mathematics focuses on class management that proposes provocative questions and tasks, which involve and stimulate students' thinking and, based on these productions, decide which ideas are going to be dealt with in depth, when and how to introduce mathematical notation and language to formalize and generalize them; when to provide information, clarify a topic, model, guide, or confront students with difficulties that arise. It is in reflection on practice that each teacher will find answers to their professional problems and ideas for the design of classroom projects that can overcome them.

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