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Curriculum innovation: difference and resemblance

Hanley, Una and Torrance, Harry (2011) Curriculum innovation: difference and resemblance. Mathematics teacher education and development, 13 (2). pp. 67-84. ISSN 1442-3901

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Abstract

How do teachers respond to a mathematics curriculum innovation? This paper reports some of the findings from a UK Research Council (ESRC)-funded project investigating how teachers in English secondary schools (students aged 12-16 years) responded to innovation. A Gatsby Foundation funded program implemented new materials; the project investigated processes and expectations of implementation. In this paper, we consider the 'gap' between innovation and proposed practice from the position of the practitioner, employing the work of Foucault (1995) and Deleuze and Guattari (1998) as a framework for analysis. The paper takes a theoretical position, arguing that teachers construct individual and constantly changing amalgams of practice. These are founded on 'difference' and understood in ways, which are shifting, and partial rather than 'known' via a sense-making process. Expectations of a strong correspondence between innovation and teacher response have undermined alternative perspectives that regard the interruption and re-routing of innovation as productive of viable outcomes in sites of practice.

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