Mathematics teachers selection and use of instructional materials

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The purpose of the study was to investigate how secondary school mathematics teachers select and use instructional materials. It was a qualitative study. The data were collected through observation, interview and document analysis. Instructional materials play an important role in school curriculum as they contain the content of a subject matter. Often teachers look at instructional materials, such as textbooks as curriculum. However, the instructional materials alone do not build the curriculum. It is the encounter between teachers, instructional materials and students that brings about the enacted curriculum. The findings of the study showed that teachers' selection of instructional materials took place mainly at the school level and the departmental level. At the classroom level the teachers' autonomy concerning selection of material was found limited and was concerned with the how of teaching only. The classroom teaching was found more textbook directed. The teachers' selection of the content was selective and was influenced by several factors such as instructional time, syllabus, beliefs about teaching and learning, and beliefs about technology. The study also identified several issues related to teachers' selection and use of instructional materials. Teachers' selection was guided by cognitive, syllabus and management concerns. However their analysis did not go beyond to broader sociological issues, for example, gender bias, which was reinforced by the teachers' unawareness of the issues. Design errors appeared to be another issue whereby the teachers were not concerned with precisions, which could be the possible sources of student misconceptions. Based on the findings the study suggests that the departmental plans and decisions should be more flexible and give teachers autonomy in selecting instructional materials within their classrooms. It also suggests that the teacher development programs should pay more attention to enabling teachers to analyze the instructional materials for content as well as for sociological issues imbedded in them.

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