Opportunities to learn mathematics offered by mathematics textbooks

Principle Investigator

Prof. Ruhama Even

Research team – current members

Dr. Michal Ayalon

Boaz Silveman (Ph.D student)

Dr. Beba Shternberg

Research team – alumni

Sarit Dolev (M.Sc. student)

Dr. Alex Friedlander

Irad Niv (M.Sc. student)


Mathematics textbooks are often the main source for teachers to plan lessons, to choose the content to be taught and the lesson activities to be conducted, especially in countries like Israel in which the school curriculum is developed and regulated by the Ministry of Education. This research program analyzes the opportunities to learn mathematics offered to students by mathematics textbooks, including those of the Integrated Mathematics curriculum program. This research program is supported by a 3-year grant received from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) that aims to examine the opportunities for argumentative activity offered by Israeli junior-high school mathematics textbooks recently developed in line with the national curriculum (ARBEL). Initial findings reveal considerable differences among textbooks with regard to the diversity and the level of cognitive demand required by student tasks, and specifically with regard to requests from students to justify and explain their mathematical work. Differences were found also with regard to the kinds of justifications for mathematical statements offered in textbooks. The results of the analysis of the Integrated Mathematics textbooks contribute to their revision.

Related publications

  • Dolev, S., & Even, R. (in press). Justifications and explanations in Israeli 7th grade math textbooks. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.
  • Niv, I., Friedlander, A. & Even, R. (2011, October). Cognitive demands of beginning algebra tasks as a tool for comparing textbooks. Paper presented at the International Conference on School Mathematics Textbooks (ICSMT 2011), Shanghai, China.