Frontiers of Education in China

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 601–632 | Cite as

Transition from Textbook to Classroom Instruction in Mathematics: The Case of an Expert Chinese Teacher

  • Wei Chen
  • Meixia DingEmail author
Research Article


This study reports how an expert Chinese teacher implements mathematics textbook lessons in enacted instruction. Our video analysis indicates that both textbook and enacted teaching included only one worked example; however, the teacher engaged students in unpacking the example in great depth. Both the textbook and the enacted teaching showed “concreteness fading” in students’ use of representations. However, the Chinese teacher incorporated students’ self-generated representations and facilitated students’ active modeling of quantitative relationships. Finally, the Chinese teacher asked a greater number of deep questions than were suggested by the textbook. These deep questions often occurred as clusters of follow-up questions that were either concept-specific or promoted comparisons which facilitated connection-making between multiple representations and solutions.


textbook-instruction transition expert Chinese teacher worked example representation deep question 



This study is supported by the National Science Foundation CAREER program under Grant No. DRL-1350068 at Temple University. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We are grateful to the editors and three anonymous reviewers’ insightful feedback as well as Laurie Shirley Esposito’s editorial assistance with the manuscript revision. Both authors contributed equally to the article.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press Limited Company and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Teacher EducationNanjing Xiaozhuang UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of EducationTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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