*Skapad: 2015-12-02. Ändrad: 2015-12-02*

# NOMAD 20(3-4), 2015

### The role of textbooks in Finnish upper secondary school mathematics: theory, examples and exercises

Antti Viholainen, Miia Partanen, Jani Piiroinen, Mervi Asikainen and Pekka E. Hirvonen

#### Abstract

Textbooks are written mainly for students, but they can also be seen as mediators between the intended curriculum and teachers’ practices. The focus of the present study is on how students and teachers at Finnish upper secondary schools perceive and describe their use of the theory, examples, and exercises presented in their mathematics textbooks. Seventy-one students participated in a short survey, and six of them and three of their teachers were interviewed. The results indicate that the theory, examples, and exercises presented in their textbooks have a strong influence on teachers’ work, but for the students the textbooks primarily represent a source of exercises.

#### Antti Viholainen

Senior lecturer at the Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Eastern Finland. He has taught several courses in the mathematics teacher education program. His main research interests are mathematical orientations, mathematical reasoning and use of learning materials.

#### Miia Partanen

Lecturer in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science in Kontiolahti school, Finland.

#### Jani Piiroinen

Lecturer in mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science in Suininlahti school, Finland.

#### Mervi A. Asikainen

Senior lecturer at the Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Eastern Finland. She has taught physics in various in-service teacher education courses for both primary and secondary schoolteachers and has also worked as a schoolteacher herself. Her main research interests are the methodology of science education research, teacher knowledge in physics and mathematics, and the teaching and learning of university physics.

#### Pekka E. Hirvonen

Associate professor at the Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Eastern Finland. He is the leader of the Physics and Mathematics Education Research Group at the University of Eastern Finland and the educational unit of the Department of Physics and Mathematics. At the present time he is also serving as the chair of the LUMA Centre Finland board. His research interests include the teaching and learning of different topics of physics and mathematics and the research-based development work of physics and mathematics teacher education.