Collopy (2003)

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Curriculum Materials as a Professional Development Tool: How a Mathematics Textbook Affected Two Teachers' Learning


This study reports on 2 upper-elementary teachers' learning through their use of potentially educative mathematics curriculum materials without additional professional development. 41 observations of the teachers' mathematics lessons and 28 interviews of the teachers were collected from October to May of an academic year. The case study analyses indicated that curriculum materials can be an effective professional development tool, but perhaps not for all teachers. 1 teacher's instructional focus and rationale for instructional practices remained stable throughout the school year, whereas the other's changed dramatically. The cases illustrated the teachers' dynamic and divergent nature of opportunities to learn through reading materials and enacting lessons. Findings also indicated that consideration of the interaction between beliefs integral to teachers' identity and those that are targets for change may illuminate responses to potentially educative curriculum materials.

Outline of Headings

  • Supporting Teacher Learning
  • The Educative Potential of Curriculum Materials
  • Influences on the Use of Curriculum Materials
  • What Is Not Known about Educative Curriculum Materials
  • Method
    • Participants
    • Curriculum Materials
    • Data Collection
    • Data Analysis
      • Thematic analysis
      • Segment analysis
  • Findings
    • Ms. Clark: A Story of Stability
      • Self-efficacy and beliefs about curriculum materials
      • Beliefs about mathematics and the aims of instruction
      • Mathematics instruction
        • Adapting lessons
        • Reinterpreting lessons
      • Focus
        • Reinterpreting the content for teachers
        • Growing frustration
    • Ms. Ross: Teacher Learning and Instructional Change
      • Self-efficacy
      • Beliefs about mathematics and curriculum materials
      • Mathematics instruction
      • The aims of mathematics instruction
      • Use of content for teachers
  • Discussion
    • Opportunities to Learn
      • Enacting instruction
      • Reading curriculum materials
    • Influences on the Construction of Opportunities to Learn


Collopy, R. (2003). Curriculum materials as a professional development tool: How a mathematics textbook affected two teachers' learning. The Elementary School Journal, 103(3), 287. doi:10.1086/499727
author = {Collopy, Rachel},
doi = {10.1086/499727},
journal = {The Elementary School Journal},
number = {3},
pages = {287},
title = {{Curriculum materials as a professional development tool: How a mathematics textbook affected two teachers' learning}},
url = {},
volume = {103},
year = {2003}