Researchers have found that teachers' decisions affect students' opportunity to learn. Prior researchers have investigated teachers' decisions while planning, implementing, or reflecting on lessons, but few researchers have studied teachers' decisions and their reasoning throughout the teaching process. It is important to study teachers' reasoning for why they make the decisions they do throughout the teaching process. Furthermore, because inservice and preservice teachers differ in experience and available resources that they draw on while making decisions, it is helpful to consider the resources PSTs' draw on while reasoning. Curricular reasoning is a framework that describes teachers' thinking processes when making decisions during the teaching process. This study investigated secondary preservice teachers' decisions and curricular reasoning throughout the teaching process. Data were collected from two groups of secondary preservice teachers in a mathematics methods course focused on student thinking and mathematics. Results revealed that the preservice teachers used all seven curricular reasoning strands, especially drawing on mathematical meanings, mapping learning trajectories, and considering learners' perspectives. Specifically, this study demonstrates ways in which preservice teachers reason about their decisions and the intertwined nature of their curricular reasoning. The results from this study also imply that it may be helpful to consider the resources PSTs have access to, including their instructor, and that the order of their lesson planning may allow support for the mathematical learning trajectories within individual lessons. This study also provides validation for the curricular reasoning framework described by Dingman, Teuscher, Olson, and Kasmer (in press), provides subcategories of curricular reasoning strands, and has implications for teacher education.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education



Date Submitted


Document Type



curricular reasoning, secondary preservice mathematics teachers, teacher education, planning lessons, implementation of lessons, resources