Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara VanIngen Lauer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


classroom discourse, classroom discussion, discourse planning


Across the nation, mathematics teachers are struggling to help their students meet the demands of high stakes testing while adhering to state standards for content and teaching and dealing with the time constraints imposed by school activities, paperwork, and testing schedules. Classroom mathematical discourse is touted as a central element of a quality mathematics learning environment. Nevertheless, many teachers struggle to implement mathematical discourse effectively. This dissertation aims to explore the use of textbooks as tools to support teachers in the planning and facilitation of mathematical classroom discourse.

In this study, I employed a mixed-methods design to investigate (1) how the language and structure of two standards-based remedial Algebra 1 textbooks present opportunity for the sharing of mathematical understanding through discourse, and (2) how two remedial Algebra 1 teachers used those textbooks in the planning and facilitation of their classroom discourse. Data from textbook language analyses, classroom observations, and semi-structured teacher interviews were collected and analyzed through the lens of Cultural-historical Activity Theory (CHAT). The findings revealed three major conflicts that impact the effective use of textbooks as a tool for planning and facilitating mathematical discourse: (1) a conflict between the role of the teacher as a facilitator of classroom discourse and as a facilitator of a predetermined curriculum, (2) a conflict between the role of the teacher as a facilitator of classroom discourse to co-construct knowledge and the perceived ability of their remedial students, and (3) a conflict between the language of the textbooks and the reform-based standards definition of mathematical discourse. This study’s results indicate a need for curriculum developers dedicated to standards based ideologies to consider language choice with more awareness. They also call for professional development writers and teacher preparation programs to provide explicit and intentional instruction on how to use readily available resources, such as textbooks, to plan and facilitate the type of discourse described by standards-based reforms.