Mathematics textbooks and their use in English, French and German classrooms : a way to understand teaching and learning cultures

B. Pepin, L. Haggarty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    57 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    After a through review of the relevant literature in terms of textbook analysis and mathematics teachers' user of textbooks in school contexts, this paper reports on selected and early findings from a study of mathematics textbooks and their use in English, French and German mathematics classrooms at lower secondary level. The research reviewed in the literature section raises important questions about textbooks as representations of the curriculum and about their role as a link between curriculum and pedagogy. Teachers, in tunr, appear to exercise control over the curriculum as it is enacted by using texts in the service of their own perceptions of teaching and learning. The second and main part of the paper analyses the ways in which textbooks vary and are used by teachers in classroom contexts and how this influences the culture of the mathematics classroom. The findings of the research demonstrate that classroom cultures are shaped by at least two factors: teachers' pedagogic principles in their immediate school and classroom context; and a system's educational and cultural traditions as they develop over time. It is argued that mathematics classroom cultures need to be understood in terms of a wider cultural and systemic context, in order for shared understandings, principles and meanings to be established, whether for promotion of classroom reform or simply for developing a better understanding of this vital component of the mathematics education process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-175
    JournalZDM Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik. Mathematics Education
    Volume33
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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