This study was prompted by the current availability of newly designed mathematics curriculum materials for elementary teachers. Seeking to understand the role that reform-oriented curricula might play in supporting teacher learning, we studied the ways in which 8 teachers in the same school used one such curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (TERC, 1998). Findings revealed that teachers had orientations toward using curriculum materials that influenced the way they used them regardless of whether they agree with the mathematical vision within the materials. As a result, different uses of the curriculum led to different opportunities for student and teacher learning. Inexperienced teachers were most likely to take a piloting stance toward the curriculum and engage all of its resources fully. Findings suggest that reform efforts might include assisting teachers in examining unfamiliar curriculum resources and developing new approaches to using these materials.
Janine T. Remillard and Martha B. Bryans
Janine T. Remillard, Michael Manganello and Amber Daniel
Since the publication of the NCTM Standards in 1989, which was followed by a new generation of curriculum development projects, the field has seen increasing interest in research on curriculum resources, how they are used by teachers and experienced by students, and the outcomes that they produce. Although some studies seek to draw direct lines between particular curriculum materials used and student outcomes, a majority of researchers argue that understanding whether and how teachers are implementing a given written curriculum resource1 with some measure of fidelity is necessary to determining its effects on learning (Stein, Remillard, & Smith, 2007). Over the last 2 decades, research has expanded to consider how teachers interpret, learn from, interact with, and generate curriculum resources. Over a similar timespan, the number and types of curriculum resources available to teachers have also expanded to include print, digital, and blended comprehensive curricula along with a slew of supplemental resources and tools available through the Internet.