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ERIC Number: ED550966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 568
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-0793-4
A Characterization of Teachers' Implementations of a Mathematical Decision-Making Curriculum
Holstein, Krista Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Over the past two decades, several new K-12 mathematics curricula have been developed. The question asked by many researchers, administrators, and policy-makers is: "Do these materials work?" This question has led to research on curricular effectiveness and, more specifically, on teachers' implementations of the curricula. Teachers often transform curricula into a form completely different from the authors' original intentions. One possible explanation for this transformation is teachers' conceptions. To address these issues, the purpose of this study is to examine teachers' implementation of a mathematical decision-making [MDM] curriculum and how their conceptions influence this implementation. To evaluate the implementation of this curriculum, a mixed methods study was employed. First, observations and teacher logs were used to examine teachers' implementation of the curriculum. Second, interviews and surveys were utilized to study teachers' conceptions, and these results were connected to the observation and teacher logs results, respectively, to determine how teachers' conceptions related to their implementation of the MDM curriculum. Six teachers participated in the qualitative portion of the study (observations and interviews), 13 teachers completed at least one teacher log, and 18 teachers completed the survey. Results suggest that teachers tended to implement the materials closely to the written text, and most teachers employed pedagogical practices that aligned with the expectations of the curriculum authors. However, there was a variety of implementation fidelity shown both within and among teachers. From the six cases, only one teacher regularly brought in outside resources to supplement or replace the curricular materials, and only one teacher used pedagogical practices considerably different from the intended practices. The remaining four teachers tended to be faithful to the authors' mathematical and pedagogical intentions. According to the results from the teacher logs, most teachers implemented the MDM curriculum as the authors intended, but there was variety within and among teachers. From this mixed methods study, four types of implementers were identified: (a) "thorough piloting" teachers, (b) "adopting but adapting content" teachers, (c) "adopting but adapting pedagogy" teachers, and (d) "partial piloting" teachers. The qualitative and quantitative results showed how teachers' conceptions may influence their implementation of the MDM curriculum. From the six cases, teachers' beliefs about teaching and beliefs about students were the conceptions that most consistently influenced their implementations of the curriculum, but teachers' beliefs about the MDM curriculum and their subject matter knowledge also influenced their implementations. According to the quantitative results, teachers' beliefs about math and beliefs about students were significantly correlated with their levels of implementation fidelity of the MDM curriculum. The results of this study reveal that teachers may or may not stray from the authors' intended curriculum, and whether or not they stray often relates to their conceptions. This study contributes to previous research on curricular effectiveness by using innovative methodologies and by taking a more in-depth look at teachers' implementation of a specific curriculum and the reasons for their implementation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A