NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ904880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-12
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1473-0111
Teachers' Senses of Obligation to Curricular Messages
Graybeal, Christy D.
International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Oct 2010
Whether they are acknowledged or not, resources such as textbooks, curriculum guides, assessments, and professional development programs present messages about what is most important for students to learn and how students can best learn this. At times teachers feel obligated to enact these messages, but at other times they feel free to ignore these messages. When do teachers feel obligated to follow messages that they interpret from resources and when do they feel that they can ignore these messages? Through survey, observation, and interview this qualitative study explored this question. The messages that five experienced, elementary certified, middle school mathematics teachers interpreted and the ways in which these messages related to their beliefs and practices were studied. When the teachers were in agreement with their interpretations of the messages, they usually followed through with these messages in their practices. Surprisingly, when the teachers disagreed with the messages, their practices were still sometimes reflective of these messages. It seemed that this was because the teachers felt obligated to enact these messages. This sense of obligation was most apparent when there were clear and consistent messages both within and across resources. Teachers felt that they could use their discretion and ignore vague, inconsistent, and controversial messages. (Contains 1 table and 7 footnotes.)
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. 5th Floor Rolle Building, Faculty of Education University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK. Tel: +44-1752-585346; Fax: +44-1752-585344; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A