Stein, Remillard, & Smith (2007)

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Handbook chapter from the Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning by Mary Kay Stein, Janine Remillard, and Margaret Smith.

Detailed Chapter Summary

Stein, Remillard, and Smith open their chapter with comments on the growth of research in the area of curriculum use. The 1992 NCTM Handbook did not include a chapter on this topic, but the emergence of new curricula following the 1989 NCTM Standards spurred a greater research interest in curricula and how they influence student learning. Also, the Child Left Behind requirement that federal funds only be spent on curricular materials shown to be effective drove curriculum developers to prove their materials had a positive effect on student learning.

Conceptual Issues, Definitions, and Boundaries

Multiple Meanings of Curriculum

Curriculum Materials: An Evolving Concept

Literature Selection and Boundaries of this Review

Section One: Research on Curriculum Materials and Student Learning

Research on Content of Curriculum Materials

What Content is Covered?
How is Content Presented?
The Support of Teacher Learning

Examination of Student Learning from Mathematics Curriculum Materials

Comparative Studies Conducted by External Researchers

Section Two: How Teachers Engage With and Interpret Curricular Materials

Framing of the Relationship between Written and Intended Curriculum

Content Coverage
Components of the Curriculum
Program Philosophy

Conceptualizations of Curriculum Use

Curriculum Use as Following or Subverting
Curriculum Use as Interpretation
Curriculum Use as Participating With

Section Three: The Enactment of Curricula in Classrooms

Ways in Which Curriculum Enactment Has Been Studied

The Source and Nature of Mathematical Tasks

Setting Up and Implementing Mathematical Tasks

Investigating Processes Involved in Task Implementation

Section Four: Explaining Transformations Within and Between Different Phases of Curriculum Use

The Teacher Matters

Beliefs and Knowledge
Professional Identity

Students Matter

The Context Matters

Local Cultures
Teacher Support

The Curriculum Matters

Conventional versus Standards-based Curricula

Curriculum Features

Educative Curriculum

Section Five: How the Enacted Curriculum Influences Student Learning

Summary and Conclusions

Curricula Differ in Significant Ways

These Differences Impact Student Learning

No Curriculum is Self-Enacting

Standards-Based Curricula are Challenging to Enact as Well

The Success of Standards-Based Curricula is Influenced by Multiple Factors




Stein, M. K., Remillard, J. T., & Smith, M. S. (2007). How curriculum influences student learning. In F. K. Lester (Ed.), Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 319–369). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.


address = {Charlotte, NC},
author = {Stein, Mary Kay and Remillard, Janine T. and Smith, Margaret Schwan},
booktitle = {Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning},
chapter = {8},
editor = {Lester, Frank K.},
pages = {319--369},
publisher = {Information Age},
title = {{How curriculum influences student learning}},
year = {2007}