Characteristics of teachers' choice of examples in and for the mathematics classroom

Iris Zodik, Orit Zaslavsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main goal of the study reported in our paper is to characterize teachers' choice of examples in and for the mathematics classroom. Our data is based on 54 lesson observations of five different teachers. Altogether 15 groups of students were observed, three seventh grade, six eighth grade, and six ninth grade classes. The classes varied according to their level-seven classes of top level students and six classes of mixed-average and low level students. In addition, pre and post lesson interviews with the teachers were conducted, and their lesson plans were examined. Data analysis was done in an iterative way, and the categories we explored emerged accordingly. We distinguish between pre-planned and spontaneous examples, and examine their manifestations, as well as the different kinds of underlying considerations teachers employ in making their choices, and the kinds of knowledge they need to draw on. We conclude with a dynamic framework accounting for teachers' choices and generation of examples in the course of teaching mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-182
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Examples
  • Mathematics teaching practice
  • Teacher knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Education


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