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DFG funds continuation of IPN textbook study: How do textbooks affect the design of mathematics lessons in elementary school?

August 17th, 2022

The German Research Foundation (DFG) provides funding of more than half a million euros for the continuation of the IPN textbook study.

Mathematics textbooks are among the most important curricular materials and are used by most teachers, especially in elementary school, as a basis for their lesson planning. Within the framework of the IPN textbook study, it could be shown on the one hand that mathematics textbooks sometimes differ significantly not only with regard to the content design, but also in the didactic quality of the presented curricular content. On the other hand, findings from a longitudinal study revealed that the choice of textbook for a school class is substantially related to the learning gains of primary school children in mathematics. The IPN textbook study found empirical evidence for the relationship between textbook quality and children's achievement growth in arithmetic. However, it remained unclear from previous research what the effect mechanism is, i.e., how textbook quality influences the quality of learning opportunities for elementary school children in mathematics class. The project "Effects of Mathematics Textbooks on the Implemented and Achieved Curriculum in Elementary School", funded by the DFG, will now take a closer look at these questions. The central goals of the study are to determine the extent to which the relationship between textbook quality and the achievement gains of elementary school children is mediated by the quality of the instructional implementation of textbook content and how the professional knowledge of teachers influences this process. In addition, we will analyze how mathematics textbooks are selected in schools and which factors influence textbook selection. Findings from the new project will reveal more detailed information about the role that mathematics textbooks play in the learning success of elementary school children in the subject of mathematics. Based on the findings, approaches can then be developed to support teachers so that the use of textbooks in mathematics lessons can create the best possible learning opportunities for children.

The new DFG project is jointly led by Prof. Dr. Aiso Heinze, Director of the IPN Department of Mathematics Education, and Prof. Dr. Ann-Katrin van den Ham, Junior Professor of Educational Research with a focus on research methods at the University of Hamburg, sharing the funding amount of €523,000. Thus, the established research team of the IPN Textbook Study, which was led by Aiso Heinze and coordinated by Ms. van den Ham as a former postdoctoral fellow at the IPN, continues its joint work on this central research topic.


Contact at the IPN:
Prof. Dr. Aiso Heinze

You can learn more about the IPN textbook study on the project website.