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MKT and curriculum materials are only part of the story: Insights from a lesson on fractions

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This paper investigates the contribution of mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and curriculum materials to the mathematical quality of instruction by comparing the enactment of a fractions problem taught by two teachers with differing MKT. It was found that MKT seem to support teachers' precise use of mathematical language and to prevent errors; the curriculum materials provided a rich representational context for mathematical work. However, teachers' orientations toward mathematics and mathematics teaching and their goals for student learning also seemed to contribute to their use of curriculum materials to engage students with rich mathematics and to support students' participation in the development of the mathematics. Although orientations and goals made it more likely for a teacher to use multiple representations and elicit multiple solution methods, MKT was needed to productively use these elements in instruction. Based on this analysis, it is argued that there are aspects of developing orientations and goals that are related to MKT.

Keywords: mathematics curriculum; mathematics instruction; teacher beliefs; teacher knowledge; teaching quality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-08-01

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