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Teachers’ Orientations Toward Mathematics Curriculum Materials: Implications for Teaching and Learning

Janine Remillard and Martha Bryans (Study)

This study was prompted by the current availability of newly designed mathematics curriculum materials for elementary teachers. Seeking to understand the role that reform-oriented curricula might play in supporting teacher learning, we studied the ways in which 8 teachers in the same school used one such curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (TERC, 1998) during the first year and a half of use. Findings revealed that teachers have orientations toward using curriculum resources that influence the way they used the curriculum, regardless of their agreement with its mathematical vision. As a result, different uses of the resource led to different opportunities for student and teacher learning. Teachers most likely to take a piloting stance toward the curriculum and engage all of its resources fully were inexperienced teachers. Findings suggest that learning to use unfamiliar curriculum resources differently might be a central focus of reform efforts.

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