, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 355–366 | Cite as

Studying mathematics instruction through different lenses: setting the ground for understanding instructional quality more comprehensively

  • Charalambos Y. CharalambousEmail author
  • Anna-Katharina Praetorius
Survey Paper


Researchers from different fields have developed different observational instruments to capture instructional quality with a focus on generic versus content-specific dimensions or a combination of both. As this work is fast accumulating, the need to explore synergies and complementarities among existing work on instruction and its quality becomes imperative, given the complexity of instruction and the increasing realization that different frameworks illuminate certain instructional aspects but leave others less visible. This special issue makes a step toward exploring such synergies and complementarities, drawing on the analysis of the same 3 elementary-school lessons by 11 groups using 12 different frameworks. The purpose of the current paper is to provide an up-to-date overview of prior attempts made to work at the intersection of different observational frameworks. The paper also serves as the reference point for the other papers included in the special issue, by defining the goals and research questions driving the explorations presented in each paper, outlining the criteria for selecting the frameworks included in the special issue, describing the sampling approaches for the selected lessons, presenting the content of these lessons, and providing an overview of the structure of each paper.


Content-specific dimensions Generic dimensions Instructional quality Mathematics instruction Observation Teaching quality 


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charalambos Y. Charalambous
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna-Katharina Praetorius
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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