Mathematics Teachers’ Use of Knowledge Resources When Identifying Proportional Reasoning Situations

  • Rachael Eriksen BrownEmail author
  • Travis Weiland
  • Chandra Hawley Orrill


In this qualitative study, we investigated teachers’ use of proportional knowledge resources while being asked to appropriately identify if a given situation was proportional or not using clinical interview data from a large grant funded project. We found that knowledge resources related to the mathematical structure of the situation were most useful in correctly identifying the situation. Interestingly, teachers were often able to identify a mathematical expression for the situations; however, these rules did not support the correct identification of the situation as proportional or not. We discuss suggested knowledge resources for the creation of a coordination class for identifying situations that are proportional from those that are not as well as implications for teacher education and professional development around proportional reasoning.


Appropriateness Knowledge in pieces Proportional reasoning Teacher knowledge 



The authors wish to thank Gili Nagar, James Burke, Jinsook Park, and John Millett for their help on earlier versions of this analysis.

Funding information

The work reported here was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DRL-1054170.

Compliance with ethical standards


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and may not reflect those of the NSF.


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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University AbingtonAbingtonUSA
  2. 2.Appalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts DartmouthDartmouthUSA

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