Teachers pose and design context-based mathematics tasks: what can be learned from product evolution?

Nadav Marco*, Alik Palatnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study proposes a model of several dimensions through which products of teachers’ context-based mathematics problem posing (PP) can be modified. The dimensions are Correctness, Authenticity, Task Assortment (consisting of Mathematical Diversity, Multiple Data Representations, Question–Answer Format, Precision-Approximation, and Generalization), Task Flow, and Student Involvement. A study was conducted in the context of a professional development (PD) program in which eight secondary school teachers iteratively designed 22 context-based mathematics tasks. Using the variation theory of learning as a theoretical framework and qualitative content analysis methodology, we compared different versions of the same tasks, focusing on items participants added or revised. To demonstrate the usability of the resulting semi-hierarchical model, we apply it to characterize the teachers’ final products of context-based PP. We found that most items teachers composed did not deviate from what we call the “common item form”—items that require numeric, exact, particular-case-related, and close-form answers without involving students in decision-making. Our findings may inform teacher educators and researchers on planning and implementing context-based mathematics task development by teachers in PD.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)223-246
Number of pages24
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2023.


  • Context-based mathematics tasks
  • Problem posing
  • Teachers’ task design
  • Variation theory of learning


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