Can curriculum materials support teachers' learning? Two fourth-grade teachers' use of a new mathematics text

  • Remillard J
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This paper presents a model of teachers’ construction of mathematics curriculum in the classroom or their curriculum development activities. The model emerged through a qualitative study of two experienced, elementary teachers during their first year of using a commercially published, reform-oriented textbook that had been adopted by their district (Remillard 1996). The aim of the study was to examine teachers’ interactions with a new textbook in order to gain insight into the potential for curriculum materials to contribute to reform in mathematics teach- ing. The resulting model integrates research on teachers’ use of curriculum mate- rials (cf. Stodolsky 1989) and studies of teachers’ construction of curriculum in their classrooms (cf. Doyle 1993). The model includes three arenas in which teach- ers engage in curriculum development: design, construction, and curriculum map- ping. Each arena defines a particular realm of the curriculum development process about which teachers explicitly or implicitly make different types of decisions. The design arena involves selecting and designing mathematical tasks. The construction arena involves enacting these tasks in the classroom and responding to students’ encounters with them. The curriculum mapping arena involves determining the organization and content of the entire curriculum into which daily events fit. Through articulating each piece of the model, the author highlights the complex and multidimensional nature of teachers’ curriculum processes, identifies signifi- cant characteristics of each arena that have implications for textbook use and instructional change, and indicates areas that call for further understanding and research.

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  • Janine T Remillard

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