This study was conducted in order to determine how mathematics teachers allocate their time in the classroom and the factors that influence teacher priorities in that time allocation. Research has indicated that math teachers may choose not to do certain activities in their classroom because of the amount of time that they take, but other underlying reasons may exist. In order to study this idea, six math teachers were interviewed on their current time allocation and rationale for that allocation, and the results from these interviews were used to create a survey that was sent to 581 math teachers in Utah. The results from the 224 completed surveys showed that many teachers allocate their classroom time in a fairly traditional manner, with an average of about 10% of class time being spent on student-centered activities. 40.63% of teachers spent 0% of their class time on student-centered activities. There is variation in time allocation and influencing factors based on a teacher's schedule, level of teaching, experience, and how student-centered their teaching methods are. Also, the results support the claim that there are factors, other than limited class time, that affect how teachers choose whether or not to do certain activities. Some of the most significant deciding factors found are whether the activities will help students with their end of level tests, if they will keep students working hard mathematically, whether others are using those activities or not, how the activities affect classroom rowdiness. It was also found that teachers who are more teacher-centered tended to choose activities based on how easy they were to implement, including their personal comfort level, ease of preparation, and ease of management with student behavior. More student-centered teachers tended to care more about keeping the students working hard mathematically.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





time allocation, instructional activities, student-centered, teacher-centered, reform mathematics, priorities