At some point, every math student will struggle. Teachers know this. They expect it. They plan for it. Naturally, they worry that challenging lessons will turn into impasses where students are overwhelmed by their frustrations. But teachers also know that these moments of struggle can be fruitful learning opportunities. Indeed, they can be the moments where students make the greatest strides, develop confidence, and mature into independent thinkers.


The deliberate process of grappling with mathematical concepts in an effort to understand them is known as productive struggle.

As rote learning continues to come under scrutiny, productive struggle offers an alternative method that is creative, constructive, and meaningful.