Examining Communication About Mathematics in Elementary Curriculum Materials

  • Ok-Kyeong Kim
  • Janine T. RemillardEmail author
Part of the Research in Mathematics Education book series (RME)


In this chapter, we examine the types of mathematical support offered to teachers and the approaches used to communicate about mathematics to teachers in five elementary mathematics programs. The results show that the location, extent, and type of mathematical support vary across the programs. All five programs, however, (1) explain mathematics to teachers directly, (2) communicate mathematics by illustrating anticipated student strategies and thinking, (3) communicate mathematical ideas by embedding them in teacher/student actions, and (4) communicate strategies and thinking by embedding them in teacher/student actions. The programs also provide mathematical goals and vocabulary of lessons and highlight the mathematics in the titles of lessons. In addition, some programs use the headings in the lesson guide to highlight mathematical ideas. The five programs communicated various types of mathematics to teachers: (1) descriptions of procedures and steps, (2) explanations of strategies, (3) explanations of concepts, definitions, and conventions, (4) explanations of representations, and (5) explanations of connections, relationships, and applications. Based on the findings of the study, we discuss the type of mathematics teachers need to know to teach these programs and ways in which mathematics can be better communicated to teachers.


Curriculum analysis Mathematics curriculum materials Educative curricula Teacher’s guide Everyday Mathematics Investigations in Number, Data, and Space Math in Focus Math Trailblazers Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics Mathematical explanations Mathematical support 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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