Promoting fundamental change in mathematics teaching: A theoretical, methodological, and empirical approach to the problem

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Mathematics education reform, as conceptualized in the United States and a number of other countries, represents a fundamental change in the teaching of mathematics and the results it would produce for students. Whereas there are data that suggest some progress is being made in the direction of reform, teacher education and professional development during the last two decades have been largely unsuccessful in preparing teachers to enact the reform vision. In this article, I present a theoretical construct, major assimilatory structures, that can contribute to explaining the difficulty of promoting change in mathematics teaching. I describe a methodology-accounts of practice-for identifying major assimilatory structures of teachers and present an example of a major assimilatory structure, perception-based perspective, that emerged from our empirical work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)

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