Remillard & Bryans (2004)

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Teachers' Orientations Toward Mathematics Curriculum Materials: Implications for Teacher Learning


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.

Outline of Headings

  • Theoretical Framework
  • Method
    • Research Site: Carter Elementary School
    • The Investigations Curriculum
    • Participating Teachers
    • Data Collection
    • Data Analysis
  • Results
    • Contrasting Orientations Toward and Uses of Investigations
      • Zoe Kitcher: Adherent and trusting
      • Peter Jackson: Quietly resistant
      • Kim Reston: Skeptical
    • The Significance of Orientation Toward Curriculum
    • Teachers' Use of Investigations in the Classroom
      • Intermittent and narrow use
      • Adopting and adapting
      • Thorough piloting
    • Opportunities for Teacher Learning
      • Minimal engagement in learning
      • Expanding one's repertoire of activities
      • Insights into student thinking
      • Constructing the teacher's role in orchestrating student learning
      • Explorations of mathematics
  • Curriculum Materials as a Vehicle to Support Teacher Learning
  • Implications


Remillard, J. T., & Bryans, M. B. (2004). Teachers' orientations toward mathematics curriculum materials: Implications for teacher learning. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 35(5), 352. doi:10.2307/30034820
author = {Remillard, Janine T. and Bryans, Martha B.},
doi = {10.2307/30034820},
journal = {Journal for Research in Mathematics Education},
keywords = {Reform in mathematics education,curriculum,elementary K-8,materials (texts,other resources),professional development,teacher beliefs},
number = {5},
pages = {352},
title = {{Teachers' orientations toward mathematics curriculum materials: Implications for teacher learning}},
url = {},
volume = {35},
year = {2004}