ERIC Number: EJ748195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Could Elementary Mathematics Textbooks Help Give Attention to Reasons in the Classroom?
Newton, Douglas P.; Newton, Lynn D.
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v64 n1 p69-84 Jan 2007
Trainee teachers, new and non-specialist teachers of elementary mathematics have a tendency to avoid thought about reasons in mathematics. Instead, they tend to favour the development of computational skill through the rote application of procedures, routines and algorithms. Could elementary mathematics textbooks serve as models of practice and support the professional development of these teachers? Eighteen such textbooks for use by 7 to 11-year-old children in England were examined for their potential to help teachers attend to reasons. It was found that they were unlikely to point teachers towards reasons for patterns and procedures. Although some had the potential to help in introducing and structuring a lesson, they were unlikely to induce the teacher to address matters of understanding in their discourse. Their implicit message tended to be that mathematics education is about computational skill development through routines, algorithms and practice.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Textbooks, Elementary School Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Elementary School Teachers, Mathematics Skills, Professional Development, Elementary Education, Educational Principles, Computation, Teaching Methods, Textbook Content
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)