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Promoting teacher learning: a framework for evaluating the educative features of mathematics curriculum materials

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Abstract

Educative curricula, curriculum materials that intentionally foster teacher professional development, can serve as a site for teacher learning through their use in daily instructional practices. The present article introduces a framework, Teacher Learning Opportunities in Mathematics Curriculum Materials (TLO-Math), for designing and evaluating mathematics curriculum materials’ educative features according to seven theoretically based variables: (1) mathematics content knowledge for teaching, (2) teacher knowledge of student thinking in mathematics, (3) teacher knowledge of disciplinary discourse in mathematics, (4) teacher knowledge of assessment in mathematics, (5) teacher knowledge of differentiated instruction in mathematics, (6) teacher knowledge of technology use in mathematics, and (7) teacher knowledge of mathematical community. Each variable is illustrated with a definition, guiding questions, discipline-specific literature, and examples from two sets of elementary mathematics curriculum materials. The development of the TLO-Math framework is a critical first step for further study of the use of mathematics curriculum materials as sites for teacher learning.

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Notes

  1. For the purpose of the present article, Remillard et al.’s (2009) distinction between curriculum materials and curriculum programs is adopted. Curriculum materials are the physical print resources (e.g., student book and teachers’ guide), which are provided by a curriculum program (e.g., enVisionMATH or Investigations in Number, Data, and Space).

  2. Some curriculum programs (e.g., Investigations in Number, Data, and Space) are purposefully designed to be educative and integrate these educative features throughout the curriculum materials (i.e., educative curriculum materials), whereas other curriculum programs (e.g., enVisionMATH) are not intentionally designed to be educative but may include some educative features within the teacher guide.

  3. The researchers are currently conducting a study to evaluate the content validity of an instrument derived from the TLO-Math framework. As a part of this study, the researchers are soliciting feedback on the response options (frequently, occasionally, and rarely) for the guiding questions.

  4. A complete presentation of the identification and evaluation of the educative features of the two sets of curriculum materials is beyond the scope of the present article as its primary purpose is to introduce the TLO-Math framework. Each of the following sections describes and evaluates some of the educative features to provide an idea of how TLO-Math may be used.

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Correspondence to Sarah Quebec Fuentes.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 4 and 5.

Table 4 List of core resources
Table 5 Dimensions, definitions, and guiding questions

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Quebec Fuentes, S., Ma, J. Promoting teacher learning: a framework for evaluating the educative features of mathematics curriculum materials. J Math Teacher Educ 21, 351–385 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-017-9366-2

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