Acquiring the notion of learning hypotheses in mathematics teacher education

Abstract The notion of hypothetical learning trajectory has generated much interest among experts in mathematics education. It is proposed that this notion is a useful tool in teachers’ teaching practice and that it is necessary to prepare teachers in their capacity to formulate hypothetical learning trajectories about specific mathematics school topics. It is therefore also necessary to explore the learning processes that teachers undergo when learning this notion in their education. In this article, we introduce the notion of learning hypotheses as an adaptation of the idea of hypothetical learning trajectory (SIMON, 1995). We describe how the groups of secondary-school mathematics teachers that participated in a teacher education program understood and used this notion in order to determine the contribution of a set of tasks to a learning goal previously established. We found that the groups developed their knowledge of the notion of learning hypotheses and used it in a heterogeneous way, and that the education program was partly successful in its goal to make the groups of teachers learn and perceive the notion’s utility.