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Based on the fieldwork carried out at two elementary schools, Merits School and Pioneer School, in northeastern China, the monograph details how local schools enacted the New Mathematics Curriculum Reform that was launched in early 2000.
The trajectory of the reform implementation at each school was plotted out. Both schools resorted to a long-standing quality control mechanism, i.e., teaching norms, to operationalize the reform ideas. The mechanism functioned by placing teachers under measurable supervision and evaluation aligned with the reform. The schools responded to the reform following school people’s raising practical concerns, as well as the established school culture. Merits School arrived at a "two-faced strategy" to cope with the reform. Pioneer School managed to maintain a balance between promoting reform pedagogy and maintaining good test rankings. Both schools marginally involved parents in the implementation of the reform. This study suggests that to achieve success, reformers need to place equal emphasis on the transformation of teachers as well as local policymakers.
This book enriches the existing literature on the implementation of mathematics curriculum reform at the school level and brings insights into the schools’ implementation decisions, which will appeal to policymakers, curriculum researchers and administrators.