Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

Committee Chair

Signe Kastberg

Committee Member 1

Jill Newton

Committee Member 2

JoAnn Phillion

Committee Member 3

Dana Cox


This study is an effort to expand conceptualizations of mathematics teachers’ knowledge where teachers’ experiences are considered an important source of their knowledge. Using Schwab’s (1969, 1983) concept of curriculum and Dewey’s (1938) theory of experience as theoretical lenses, the researcher, a former secondary mathematics teacher, explored an eighth-grade mathematics teacher’s personal practical knowledge ([PPK], Elbaz, 1981, 1983). The mathematics aspect of this study was the emerging concept of area as students worked on a lesson involving real-world context. Field and research texts were constructed through narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). This study illustrates how under a four-year collaboration: 1) the researcher learned about the mathematics teacher’s PPK and her personal PPK in relation to the teacher; 2) mathematics teachers make curriculum (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992) by paying attention to their experiences, readings their students, and following Dewey’s (1938) principle of continuity; and 3) the teachers’ previous experiences with the area concept informed their in-the-moment understandings of the concept and their interactions with students, and between themselves, allowed them to develop new understandings of area and its teaching.