Mathematics teachers' use of instructional materials while implementing a new curriculum
Edenfield, Kelly Winnelle
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This study examined the selection, evaluation, and implementation of instructional materials by a group of three teachers in the same high school during their first time teaching a course in Georgia’s new integrated, process standards-based curriculum. Each of the three teachers, as well as a larger group of teachers, completed a survey about the teachers’ own mathematical experiences, their beliefs about mathematics pedagogy, and their understanding of and preparation for teaching the curriculum. I observed the three participants’ classes during their instruction on three mathematics units: quadratic functions, right triangle trigonometry, and circles and spheres. The teachers also participated in individual interviews after each unit. I classified the teachers’ materials evaluation and selection and how they implemented the materials in their instruction. Although the teachers planned together, their rationales for their evaluation, selection, and implementation of materials varied. I attributed the teachers’ decisions to number of contextual and teacher factors, including their beliefs about teaching and learning and their opportunities to learn about the curriculum changes. More important than a particular textbook choice was how the teachers selected and implemented the materials to support the mathematical goals of the curriculum. The results of the study indicate that teacher educators must help practicing and prospective teachers develop their knowledge of curriculum standards and how to select and implement materials to support those standards.