Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 585–614 | Cite as

Curriculum enactment patterns and associated factors from teachers’ perspectives

  • Ji-Won Son
  • Ok-Kyeong Kim
Original Article


As part of a larger effort to improve teacher capacity for high-quality mathematics instruction, we investigated the factors that are associated with different enactment patterns at three levels: contextual (e.g., type and quality of textbook), individual (e.g., teacher knowledge), and teachers’ opportunity-to-learn (e.g., professional development experiences). Analysis of 183 teachers’ self-reports on their practices revealed three notable findings. First, the factors at the three levels were all found to be significantly related to the different patterns of enacted curriculum. However, the use of quality textbooks and the alignment of teachers’ views and instructional goals with curriculum goals were found to be the two factors that are most strongly associated with the enactment pattern of high-level problems and high-level teacher questions in instruction. Furthermore, teachers with the enactment pattern of increasing lower cognitive demand of problems into higher ones tended to rate their curriculum knowledge higher than teachers with the enactment pattern of using low-level problems and teacher questions in their teaching. In particular, deviation from and dissatisfaction with their assigned low-quality textbooks were found to be critical factors that are associated with the enactment pattern of increasing lower cognitive demands of problems in instruction.


Mathematics curriculum Curriculum enactment Cognitive demand of mathematical tasks Teacher questions 


  1. Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  2. Apple, M. W., & Jungck, S. (1990). “You don’t have to be a teacher to teach this unit”: teaching, technology, and gender in the classroom. American Educational Research Journal, 27(2), 227–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Archambault, I., Janosz, M., & Chouinard, R. (2012). Teacher beliefs as predictors of adolescents’ cognitive engagement and achievement in mathematics. The Journal of Educational Research, 105, 319–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boaler, J., & Staples, M. (2008). Creating mathematical futures through an equitable teaching approach: the case of Railside School. Teachers College Record, 110(3), 608–645.Google Scholar
  5. Borko, H., Elliott, R., & Uchiyama, K. (1999). Professional development: a key to Kentucky’s reform effort. Los Angeles: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing.Google Scholar
  6. Boston, M. D., & Smith, M. J. (2009). Transforming secondary mathematics teaching: increasing the cognitive demands of instructional tasks used in teachers’ classrooms. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 40(2), 119–156.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, M. (2008). Toward a theory of curriculum design and use: understanding the teacher-tool relationship. In B. Herbel-Eisenmann, J. Remillard, & G. Lloyd (Eds.), Mathematics teachers at work: connecting curriculum materials and classroom instruction (pp. 17–37). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Burbank, I. K. et al. (1987). Houghton mifflin mathematics Teacher’s edition, Level 4, Houghton Mifflin Canada Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Burstein, L., McDonnell, L. M., Van Winkle, J., Ormseth, T., Mirocha, J., & Guitton, G. (1995). Validating national curriculum indicators. Santa Monica: RAND.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, D. K. (1990). A revolution in one classroom: the case of Mrs. Oublier. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 12(3), 311–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooney, T. J. (1994). Teacher education as an exercise in adaptation. In D. B. Aichele & A. F. Coxford (Eds.), Professional development for teachers of mathematics, 1994 yearbook (pp. 9–22). Reston: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar
  12. Drake, C., & Sherin, M. G. (2002). Practicing change: Curriculum adaptation and teacher narrative in the context of mathematics education reform. Curriculum Inquiry, 36, 153–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Franke, M. L., Carpenter, T., Fennema, E., Ansell, E., & Behrend, J. (1998). Understanding teachers’ self-sustaining, generative change in the context of professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(1), 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Galant, J. (2013). Selecting and sequencing mathematics tasks: seeking mathematical knowledge for teaching. Perspectives in Education, 31(3), 34–48.Google Scholar
  15. Goertz, M. E., Floden, R. E., & O’Day, J. (1995). Studies of educational reform: systemic reform. New Brunswick: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.Google Scholar
  16. Hanley, U., & Torrance, H. (2011). Curriculum innovation: difference and resemblance. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 13(2), 67–84.Google Scholar
  17. Henningsen, M., & Stein, M. K. (1997). Mathematical tasks and student cognition: classroom-based factors that support and inhibit high-level mathematical thinking and reasoning. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28, 524–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hosmer, D.W. & Lemeshow, S. (2004). Applied logistic regression. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Kadijević, Đ. M. (2002). TIMSS 2003 mathematics cognitive domains. Zbornik Instituta za pedagoška istraživanja, 34, 96–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kilpatrick, J., Swafford, J., & Findell, B. (Eds.). (2001). Adding it up: helping children learn mathematics. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kirk, D., & MacDonald, D. (2010). Teacher voice and ownership of curriculum change. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 33(5), 551–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lewis, G. M. (2014). Implementing a reform-oriented pedagogy: challenges for novice secondary mathematics teachers. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 26, 399–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mayer, D. P. (1999). Measuring instructional practice: can policymakers trust survey data? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21(1), 29–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mesa, V., & Griffiths, B. (2012). Textbook mediation of teaching: an example from tertiary mathematics instructors. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 79, 85–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nie, B., Freedman, T., Hwang, S., Wang, N., Moyer, J. C., & Cai, J. (2013). An investigation of teachers’ intentions and reflections about using Standards-based and traditional textbooks in the classroom. ZDM, 45, 699–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2014). TALIS 2013 technical report. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  27. Ott, L. R., & Longnecker, M. T. (2001). An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis (5th ed.). Pacific Grove: Duxbury.Google Scholar
  28. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Pólya, G. (1981). Mathematical discovery (Combinedth ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  30. Remillard, J. T. (2005). Examining key concepts in research on teachers’ use of mathematics curricula. Review of Educational Research, 75(2), 211–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Remillard, J. T., & Bryans, M. B. (2004). Teachers’ orientations toward mathematics curriculum materials: implications for teacher learning. Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, 35(5), 352–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sanders, N. M. (1966). Classroom questions: what kinds? New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  33. Schmidt, W. H., Raizen, S. A., Britton, E. D., Bianchi, L. J. & Wolfe, R. G. (1997). Many visions, many aims: A cross-national investigation of curricular intentions in school science. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: KluwerGoogle Scholar
  34. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Slavin, R., & Lake, C. (2008). Effective programs in elementary mathematics: a best-evidence synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78(3), 427–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sleep, L. (2012). The work of steering instruction toward the mathematical point: a decomposition of teaching practice. American Education Research Journal, 49(5), 935–970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Son, J. (2008). Elementary teachers’ mathematical textbook use patterns in terms of cognitive demands and influential factors: a mixed method study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  38. Son, J., & Crespo, S. (2009). Prospective teachers’ reasoning about students’ non-traditional strategies when dividing fractions. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 12, (4), 236–261.Google Scholar
  39. Son, J., & Kim, O. (2015). Teachers’ selection and enactment of mathematical problems from textbooks. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27(4), 491–518.Google Scholar
  40. Son, J., & Senk, S. (2010). How reform curricula in the USA and Korea present multiplication and division of fractions. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 74(2), 117–142.Google Scholar
  41. Stein, M. K., & Lane, S. (1996). Instructional tasks and the development of student capacity to think and reason: an analysis of the relationship between teaching and learning in a reform mathematics project. Educational Research and Evaluation, 2, 50–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stein, M. K., Grover, B. W., & Henningsen, M. A. (1996). Building student capacity for mathematical thinking and reasoning: an analysis of mathematical tasks used in reform classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 33(2), 455–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stein, M. K., Engle, R. A., Smith, M. S., & Hughes, E. K. (2008). Orchestrating productive mathematical discussions: five practices for helping teachers move beyond show and tell. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 10(4), 313–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stigler, J. W., & Hiebert, J. (2004). Improving mathematics teaching. Educational Leadership, 61(5), 12–16.Google Scholar
  45. Sullivan, P., Clarke, D. J., Clarke, D. M., Farrell, L., & Gerrard, J. (2013). Processes and priorities in planning mathematics teaching. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 25(4), 457–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Supovitz, J. A., Mayer, D. P., & Kahle, J. B. (2000). Promoting inquiry-based instructional practice: the longitudinal impact of professional development in the context of systemic reform. Educational Policy, 14(3), 331–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tarr, J. E., Reys, R. E., Reys, B. J., Chavez, O., Shih, J., & Osterlind, S. J. (2008). The impact of middle-grades mathematics curricula and the classroom learning environment on student achievement. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39, 247–280.Google Scholar
  48. Thompson, A. G. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and conceptions: a synthesis of the research. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 127–146). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  49. Van de Walle, J. V., Karp, K. S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2009). Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally (7th ed.). New York: Virginia Commonwealth University.Google Scholar
  50. Van Steenbrugge, H., Valcke, M., & Desoete, A. (2013). Teachers’ views of mathematics textbook series in Flanders: does it (not) matter which mathematics textbook series schools choose? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(3), 322–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vygotsky, L. S. (1982). Sobraniye sochineni [Collected Works]. Moscow: Pedagogica.Google Scholar
  53. Weiss, I. R., Pasley, J. D., Smith, P. S., Banilower, E. R., & Heck, D. J. (2003). Looking inside the classroom: a study of K-12 mathematics and science education in the United States. Chapel Hill: Horizon Research.Google Scholar
  54. Wijaya, A., van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M., & Doorman, M. (2015). Teachers’ teaching practices and beliefs regarding context-based tasks and their relation with students’ difficulties in solving these tasks. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27, 637–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wilson, S. M. (1990). A conflict of interest: the case of Mark Black. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 12(3), 293–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wilson, S. M., & Berne, J. (1999). Teacher learning and the acquisition of professional knowledge: an examination of research on contemporary professional development. Review of Research in Education, 24, 173–209.Google Scholar
  57. Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W.-Y., Scarloss, B., & Shapley, K. (2007). Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2007–No. 033). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest. Retrieved from Scholar

Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Learning and Instruction, Graduate School of EducationUniversity at Buffalo–The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Western Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

Personalised recommendations