Productive Struggle

One of the eight Mathematics Teaching Practices from Principles to Actions that needs to be a consistent component of every mathematics lesson. Effective teaching of mathematics consistently provides students, individually and collectively, with opportunities and supports to engage in productive struggle as they grapple with mathematical ideas and relationships.

“…productive struggle comprises the work that students do to make sense of a situation and determine a course of action when a solution strategy is not stated, implied, or immediately obvious. From an equity perspective, this implies that each and every student must have the opportunity to struggle with challenging mathematics and to receive support that encourages their persistence without removing the challenge.”

Boston, Melissa D., Fredrick Dillon, Margaret S. Smith, and Stephen Miller. Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices in Grades 9-12. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2017. [p.208]

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