Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 2–3, pp 187–203 | Cite as

Collective design of an e-textbook: teachers’ collective documentation

  • Ghislaine GueudetEmail author
  • Birgit Pepin
  • Hussein Sabra
  • Luc Trouche


In this study, we investigated design processes in teacher collectives, which have been made possible by new “digital” opportunities: platforms, discussion lists, etc. The object of our study is the French Sésamath teacher association and its design of a grade 10 e-textbook, more precisely the design of the “functions” chapter. We analysed it with two theoretical lenses: the documentational approach and cultural-historical activity theory. We studied the activity system of a community of teachers designing an e-textbook. At macro-level, we observed a change of objects of the activities: from designing a “toolkit” for mathematics teachers; to interactive exercises; and finally to a more “classical e-textbook”. At micro-level, we analysed the development of collective documents by the community, combining resources and schemes.


Activity theory  Documentational approach to didactics E-textbooks Task design Teaching resources Collective teacher work Teachers as partners in design 


  1. Adler, J. (2000). Conceptualising resources as a theme for teacher education. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 3, 205–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball, D. L., & Cohen, D. K. (1996). Reform by the book: What is—Or might be—The role of curriculum materials in teacher learning and instructional reform? Educational Researcher, 25(6–8), 14.Google Scholar
  3. Chazan, D., & Yerushalmy, M. (2003). On appreciating the cognitive complexity of school algebra: Research on algebra learning and directions of curricular change. In J. Kilpatrick, D. Schifter, & G. Martin (Eds.), A research companion to the principles and standards for school mathematics (pp. 123–135). Reston: NCTM.Google Scholar
  4. Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of Education, 14(1), 133–156.Google Scholar
  5. Gould, P. (2011). Electronic mathematics textbooks: Old wine in new skins? In Proceedings of the 5 th APEC-Tsukuba conference, Japan. Retrieved July 2014 from
  6. Gueudet, G., Pepin, B., & Trouche, L. (Eds.). (2012). From text to ‘Lived’ resources: Mathematics curriculum materials and teacher development. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Gueudet, G., Pepin, B., & Trouche, L. (2013a). Textbooks’ design and digital resources. In C. Margolinas (Ed.), Task design in mathematics education (pp. 327–337), Proceedings of ICMI Study 22, Oxford. Retrieved July 2014 from
  8. Gueudet, G., Pepin, B., & Trouche, L. (2013b). Collective work with resources: An essential dimension for teacher documentation. ZDM, The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45(7), 1003–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gueudet, G., & Trouche, L. (2009). Towards new documentation systems for mathematics teachers? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 71(3), 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Margolinas, C. (Ed.) (2013). Task Design in Mathematics Education. Proceedings of ICMI Study 22. Oxford. Retreived July 2014 from
  11. Pepin, B., Gueudet, G., Yerushalmy, M., Trouche, L., & Chazan, D. (2015). e-textbooks in/for teaching and learning mathematics: A disruptive and potentially transformative educational technology. In L. English, & D. Kirshner (Eds.), Handbook of international research in mathematics education (pp. 636–661). New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  12. Pepin, B., & Haggarty, L. (2001). Mathematics textbooks and their use in English, French and German classrooms: A way to understand teaching and learning cultures. ZDM—The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 33(5), 158–175.Google Scholar
  13. Rezat, S. (2010). The utilization of mathematics textbooks as instruments for learning. In V. Durand-Guerrier, S. Soury-Lavergne, & F. Arzarello (Eds.), Proceedings of CERME 6 (pp. 1260–1269). France: INRP Lyon.Google Scholar
  14. Robinson, T. J., Fischer, L., Wiley, D., & Hilton, J. (2014). The impact of open textbooks on secondary science learning outcomes. Educational Researcher, 43(7), 341–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sabra, H., & Trouche, L. (2011). Collective design of an online math textbook: When individual and collective documentation works meet. In M. Pytlak, T. Rowland, & E. Swoboda (Eds.), Proceedings of CERME 7 (pp. 2356–2366). Poland: Rzeszów.Google Scholar
  16. Vergnaud, G. (1998). Toward a cognitive theory of practice. In A. Sierpinska & J. Kilpatrick (Eds.), Mathematics education as a research domain: A search for identity (pp. 227–241). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publisher.Google Scholar
  17. Yerushalmy, M. (2005). Function of interactive visual representations in interactive mathematical textbooks. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 10(3), 217–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghislaine Gueudet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Birgit Pepin
    • 2
  • Hussein Sabra
    • 3
  • Luc Trouche
    • 4
  1. 1.CREADUniversity of BrestBrestFrance
  2. 2.Eindhoven School of EducationTechnische Universiteit EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.CérepUniversity of Reims Champagne-ArdenneReimsFrance
  4. 4.French Institute of EducationÉcole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyonFrance

Personalised recommendations