Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 47–66 | Cite as

Making things explicit using instructional materials: a case study of a Singapore teacher’s practice

  • Yew Hoong Leong
  • Lu Pien Cheng
  • Wei Yeng Karen TohEmail author
  • Berinderjeet Kaur
  • Tin Lam Toh
Original Article


The phrase ‘make it explicit’ is a common advice given to teachers. It is, however, not clear to us what this actually means when translated into classroom practice. Our review found that we are not alone: “explicit” is used in different ways in the education literature. This paper explores, through a case study of a teacher who stated “making things explicit” as an ostensible goal of his instructional practice, how the explicitation is realised in teaching mathematics. In particular, we examine how he used the instructional materials that he crafted to fulfil his goal of explicitation. We were able to uncover three strategies he used: explicit-from, explicit-within, and explicit-to.


Instructional materials Explicit Teaching mathematics 



The investigation reported in this paper is part of a larger research project known as “A study of the enacted school mathematics curriculum (secondary).” (Grant number: OER 31/15 BK) funded by the Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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