What Makes Mathematics Teacher Knowledge Specialized? Offering Alternative Views

  • Thorsten ScheinerEmail author
  • Miguel A. Montes
  • Juan D. Godino
  • José Carrillo
  • Luis R. Pino-Fan


The purpose of this article is to contribute to the discussion of mathematics teacher knowledge, and the question of what makes it specialized. In the first part of the article, central orientations in conceptualizing mathematics teacher knowledge are identified and the more serious limitations of the grounds on which they stand are explicated. In the second part of the article, alternative views are offered to each of these orientations that direct attention to underexplored issues about what makes mathematics teacher knowledge specialized. Collectively, these alternative views suggest that specialization in mathematics teacher knowledge cannot be comprehensively accounted for by ‘what’ teachers know, but rather by ‘how’ teachers’ knowing comes into being. We conclude that it is not a kind of knowledge but a style of knowing that signifies specialization in mathematics teacher knowledge.


Mathematical knowledge for teaching Pedagogical content knowledge Specialized knowledge Teacher knowledge Teacher professionalism 



Writing was done while the first author, Thorsten Scheiner, was a Klaus Murmann Fellow of the Foundation of German Business and completed while he was recipient of the Research Excellent Scholarship of Macquarie University. This work was supported, in part, by grant number EDU2013-44047-P (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) to José Carrillo and Miguel A. Montes, EDU2016-74848-P (FEDER, AEI) to Juan D. Godino, and FONDECYT Nº11150014 (CONICYT, Chile) to Luis R. Pino-Fan.


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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Universidad de HuelvaHuelvaSpain
  5. 5.Universidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  6. 6.Universidad de Los LagosOsornoChile

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