Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 853–870 | Cite as

Primary teachers’ written unit plans in mathematics and their perceptions of essential elements of these

  • Anne RocheEmail author
  • Doug M. Clarke
  • David J. Clarke
  • Peter Sullivan
Original Article


The content and purpose of written unit plans in mathematics is an under-researched area. In this article, we provide a brief overview of research on teachers’ planning processes and the place of mental and written plans. We report on data from a questionnaire completed by 357 teachers from Victorian Catholic primary schools, where we focused on possible elements of written unit plans for primary mathematics, and the relative importance which teachers attributed to these elements. We then discuss 48 written unit plans which were provided to us by primary schools from which the 357 teachers were drawn. There was considerable variation in the length, intended teaching time, and level of specification of key ideas in these plans. We discuss this variation, and some discrepancies between the ratings of teachers of the importance of certain elements and their presence in the plans we examined. We also suggest potentially productive areas of future enquiry.


Planning Unit plans in mathematics Planning models Learning goals 



We gratefully acknowledge the work of Pam Hammond on the analysis of the written unit plans in this study.


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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Roche
    • 1
    Email author
  • Doug M. Clarke
    • 1
  • David J. Clarke
    • 2
  • Peter Sullivan
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Catholic UniversityFitzroyAustralia
  2. 2.International Centre for Classroom Research, Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneCarltonAustralia
  3. 3.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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