Jeffrey Choppin directs the mathematics education program at the Warner Graduate School of Education at the University of Rochester. His methods courses challenge students' conceptions of mathematics and the teaching of mathematics while exploring the influence of societal and systemic factors on students' opportunities to learn mathematics. Choppin's research focuses on what teachers learn from using innovative curriculum materials, particularly knowledge of how instructional sequences can be used to elicit and refine student reasoning. His current project, the NSF-funded DRK-12 grant Developing Principles for Mathematics Curriculum Design and Use in the Common Core Era (ERGO), focuses on teachers' perceptions and uses of curriculum materials in the context of enacting the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. He is interested in how digital aspects of curriculum materials transform or reify existing conceptions of curriculum, and how they can be leveraged to increase the emergent and collective development of knowledge in classrooms.
A Typology for Analyzing Digital Curricula in Mathematics Education
Digital content is increasingly present in U.S. K-12 classrooms, with a current push by federal officials to increase the rate at which digital textbooks are adopted. Textbook and educational software companies have begun to develop comprehensive programs that can supplement if not replace traditional paper textbooks. We developed and applied a framework to analyze a representative sample of digital curriculum programs in order to help educators better understand characteristics of current materials. We documented two distinct curriculum types, individualized learning programs and digitized versions of traditional textbooks. We looked at the ways students might interact with content in the programs, how teachers could adapt or use features or content, and the built-in assessment systems. We found that while the programs offered assessment systems that rapidly and visually report student performance, there was less evidence of dynamic, interactive, and adaptable features, constraints that hindered the transformative potential of the materials.