This report describes ways that five preservice teachers in the United States viewed and interacted with the rhetorical components (Valverde et al. in According to the book: using TIMSS to investigate the translation of policy into practice through the world of textbooks, Kluwer, 2002) of the innovative school mathematics curriculum materials used in a mathematics course for future elementary teachers. The preservice teachers’ comments reflected general agreement that the innovative curriculum materials contained fewer narrative elements and worked examples, as well as more (and different) exercises and question sets and activity elements, than the mathematics textbooks to which the teachers were accustomed. However, variation emerged when considering the ways in which the teachers interacted with the materials for their learning of mathematics. Whereas some teachers accepted and even embraced changes to the teaching–learning process that accompanied use of the curriculum materials, other teachers experienced discomfort and frustration at times. Nonetheless, each teacher considered that use of the curriculum materials improved her mathematical understandings in significant ways. Implications of these results for mathematics teacher education are discussed.
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