Mathematics Curricula Based on Rigorous National Standards What, Why, and How?

By Reys; Robinson, Erid et al. | Phi Delta Kappan, February 1999 | Go to article overview

Mathematics Curricula Based on Rigorous National Standards What, Why, and How?


Reys, Robinson, Erid, Sconiers, Sheila, Mark, Barbara June, Phi Delta Kappan


Teachers, administrators, and parents need to become informed about the unique characteristics of the mathematics curricula based on the NCTM Standards and about the support structures that are being established to make it easier for schools to adopt them. For sources of such information, read on.

OVER THE past two years, the release of data from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has focused national attention on the need for a thoughtful and informed reshaping of both what and how mathematics is taught at all levels of American schooling.1 While most of the national press has focused on the relative standings of nations, one of the often-overlooked purposes of TIMSS was to gather information about the education systems and curricula of the participating nations. At grade 8, for example, the content of curriculum materials in the U.S. is a full year behind that of many higher-achieving countries.

Both constructive proposals for change in the typical U.S. mathematics curriculum and a litany of attacks on current reform efforts have proliferated, aided by the unprecedented access to the Internet, by discussions in professional journals, and by extensive coverage in other media. These discussions have been characterized by a variety of charges and countercharges.2 In his 9 January 1998 "State of Mathematics Education" speech to the joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley called for a cease-fire in the current "math wars." He asked that mathematics professors, teachers, and other professional educators "make the importance of mathematics for our nation clear, so that all teachers teach better mathematics and teach mathematics better."3

Data for TIMSS were gathered in the early 1990s, well before the Standards documents of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) had all been published and long before the recommendations had been implemented to any great extent.4 The NCTM Standards documents provide specifications for curriculum and instruction that call for significant change from current practice - both in content and in pedagogy. These recommendations emphasize that all students should learn important mathematics, and they set forth standards by which local school districts can judge their own curricula. They call for curriculum and instruction that engage and challenge students and prepare them for continued study and growth in mathematical skill and understanding. They call for the development of mathematical habits of mind and of understanding and appreciation of the important role of mathematics in scientific applications and in daily life. The intent of the Standards is to help students become mathematically literate, which includes being able to explore, to conjecture, to reason logically, and to use a variety of mathematical methods to solve problems.

In the early 1990s the National Science Foundation funded the development of several comprehensive curriculum programs at each level of schooling that are based on rigorous mathematical standards. These new comprehensive, multigrade mathematics curricula are now available for school use. (See the accompanying sidebar, listing the 13 curriculum projects funded by the National Science Foundation.) Although each curriculum is different, all represent specific interpretations of the vision outlined in the NCTM Standards. These curriculum materials:

* introduce and connect significant mathematical concepts, consistent with the curricula of other countries whose students scored well in the TIMSS testing;

* emphasize mathematical understanding, problem solving, and reasoning;

* use applications and learning contexts that interest and challenge students and motivate student investigation;

* provide all students with opportunities to learn important mathematical ideas and skills;

* provide opportunities for significant interactions of students and teachers, using a variety of communication methods (e. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mathematics Curricula Based on Rigorous National Standards What, Why, and How?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.