This article explores the practice of engaging prospective elementary teachers in the analysis of lessons from different textbooks. A rationale for such engagement, based on particular teacher education goals, is provided. The article focuses on a specific lesson analysis assignment given to prospective elementary teachers in which portions of mathematics textbooks were compared and contrasted. Examination of 23 preservice Teachers' analysis of two textbook lessons (one fairly traditional and one more reform oriented) revealed that, with very few exceptions, the preservice teachers searched the textbook lessons for familiar, mainly traditional instructional components. The Teachers' preference for traditional lesson components appeared to contribute to a tendency to make considerable misinterpretations of the two textbook lessons. These tendencies, including ways that the teachers attempted to justify differences between the two lessons, offer important insights into prospective elementary Teachers' conceptions of the role of textbooks in the teaching and learning process. In addition, these findings suggest the necessity of involving prospective teachers more extensively in the analysis of textbooks, curriculum materials, and other instruction resources so that richer, more useful conceptions may develop.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes