, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 685–698 | Cite as

Investigating textbooks as crucial interfaces between culture, policy and teacher curricular practice: two contrasted case studies in France and Norway

  • B. PepinEmail author
  • G. Gueudet
  • L. Trouche
Original Article


This paper reports on an investigation of mathematics curriculum documents, commonly used textbooks and teacher ‘curricular practice’ with respect to educational traditions in France and Norway. The study has helped to develop a deeper understanding of (1) educational traditions in France and Norway; (2) the ways the educational traditions permeate the system, from policy documents through textbooks into the classroom; and (3) the connections between the worlds of policy, textbooks and teacher curricular practice in mathematics. Results show that French and Norwegian curricular documents and practices were influenced by egalitarian values, albeit differently interpreted and ‘lived’ in each country. In terms of mathematics, using a focus on grade 6 geometric transformations has shown that French textbooks and teacher curricular practices emphasized theoretical properties and mathematical reasoning, whereas the Norwegian counterparts stressed practical and inquiry-based activities. It is argued that mathematics textbooks can be regarded as a crucial interface between culture, policy and curricular practice, and as a pivotal resource in teachers’ resource system for curricular practice, even in times of digitization.


Textbooks Curriculum Curricular practice Educational and cultural traditions Intended and enacted curriculum 


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sør-Trøndelag University CollegeTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.University of BrestBrestFrance
  3. 3.French Institute of Education, Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyonFrance

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