, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 717–731 | Cite as

Mathematics teachers’ practices and thinking in lesson plan development: a case of teaching fraction division

  • Yeping LiEmail author
  • Xi Chen
  • Gerald Kulm
Original Article


In this study, we aimed to examine mathematics teachers’ daily lesson plans and associated practices and thinking in lesson plan development. By focusing on teachers’ preparation for teaching fraction division, we collected and analyzed a sequence of four lesson plans from each of six mathematics teachers in six different elementary schools in China. Interviews with these teachers were also analyzed to support the lesson plan analysis and reveal teachers’ thinking behind their practices. The results show that Chinese teachers placed a great consideration on several aspects of lesson planning, including content, process, and their students’ learning. Teachers’ lesson plans were similar in terms of some broad features, but differed in details and specific approaches used. While the textbook’s influence was clearly evident in these teachers’ lesson plans, lesson planning itself was an important process for Chinese teachers to transform textbook content into a script unique to different teachers and their students. Implications obtained from Chinese teachers’ lesson planning practices and their thinking are then discussed in a broad context.


Chinese teachers Fraction division Lesson plan Teachers’ practice Teachers’ thinking 



This research was supported in part by a research grant from the Spencer Foundation to the first author. However, any opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Spencer Foundation. We would like to thank Jiansheng Bao, Yijuan Shao, Hong Jian, and Hongwei Zhu for their assistance in the process of collecting the Chinese data. We are grateful to all the participants for sharing their lesson plans and thoughts. We would also like to thank three reviewers for their thoughtful comments on a prior version of this article.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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