A case study of elementary mathematics teachers' views of their and students' textbook usage and of mathematics textbooks' characteristics

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2012
Başer, Nadiye
The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ ways of using mathematics textbooks while planning the lesson and during the lesson, to document teachers’ views about elementary students’ usage of mathematics textbook during the classroom time and for their homework and teachers’ views about mathematics textbooks’ characteristics. A case study was conducted in a private elementary school with more class hours for mathematics and six mathematics teachers teaching 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade mathematics in this school participated. Data were collected in the spring semester of 2010-2011 academic year through an interview protocol with 16 main questions addressing teachers’ mathematics textbook usage and students’ mathematics textbook usage developed for this study by the researcher through the findings and discussions in the literature. Data analysis was conducted through qualitative methods. The findings of this study showed that participant teachers expressed both positive and negative views about characteristics of textbook and usage of textbook. All of them stated that the textbook was their main tool for lesson preparations and teaching. They followed the curriculum from textbook and decided what to do, how to do, and when to do. Participants underlined that textbook was an effective helper but it needed improvement in many aspects. The findings also showed that teachers viewed that students did not use their textbook efficiently. All of the teachers expressed that students did not prefer to study from textbook if there were not any assignment or homework. Teachers specified that students could improve studying habits from textbook if teachers could direct them efficiently. The findings of this study might be useful to prepare more effective lessons for teachers, to give ideas to teachers for guiding their students for effective textbook usage, and to increase the quality of textbooks.