What happens when teachers have time to reflect? Look here for a visualization that sheds some light on this question. This visualization was developed with teacher interview data collected in 2013 as part of a curriculum implementation research study funded by the National Science Foundation. The purpose of this study was to describe and explain similarities and differences in how and why teachers across different settings used and adapted the instructional materials from the Everyday Mathematics (EM) curriculum program.
In the Spring of 2013, we interviewed a sample of 75 K-5 teachers from four school districts who had been using Everyday Mathematics district-wide for 5 or more years. We were interested in identifying the most important influences affecting why and to what extent these teachers used, or did not use, the various tools, activities, materials, and teaching strategies that were part of EM.
The interviews began and ended by asking teachers to mention some of the main things that influence how they use EM on a day-to-day basis. In between, interviewers guided teachers through a 45-minute semi-structured conversation asking teachers to reflect on the multiple influences on their teaching practice. Across interviews, the teachers identified multiple influences, ranging from EM design features, to school and district policies, to state standards, to student characteristics, to individual characteristics of the teachers themselves.
All teachers shared a unique story of learning, using, and adapting the EM materials to meet their students’ needs. The resulting visualization displays all influences identified by all teachers before and after the interview, in response to the first and last question. After having the opportunity to reflect, many teachers reported different influences at the end of the interview compared to the beginning. Depicting this data illuminates the complexities of curriculum use and highlights the need to attend to both the individual and the context in designing ongoing professional learning opportunities for teachers.
To learn more about implementation research, please visit our website here.
For questions about this study or for more information, please contact Amy Cassata, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator) at email@example.com.