EXTEND: NSF Mathematics Curriculum Projects Home Page

NSF Comprehensive Curriculum Projects
for Reform of Mathematics Education

Following publication of the NCTM Standards in 1989, the National Science Foundation funded several large curriculum development projects for elementary, middle school, and secondary mathematics. These projects are now nearing completion and available for field testing or full-scale implementation.

Elementary School Projects

ARC Center: Alternatives for Rebuilding Curricula. Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP), Suite 210, 57 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02173. Clearinghouse for information about the NSF-supported Elementary School Curriculum Projects. Telephone: 617-862-7878. Contact: Sheila Sconiers at <arccenter@mail.comap.com>.

Everyday Mathematics. University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, Judd Hall, 5835 S. Kimbark Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Telephone: 773-702-9639. Project Director: Max Bell. Contact: Andy Isaacs at <aisaacs@midway.uchicago.edu>.

A mathematics curriculum for grades 4-6 that builds on the Everyday Mathematics K-3 series, but can be used by children who have completed a different K-3 curriculum. Emphasizes exploration of data and mathematics modeling in common life situations and in the natural and social sciences, arts, and language. Attends especially to mathematics' structures and algorithmic procedures as important issues in effective mathematical modeling. Pedagogical approaches emphasize small group and cooperative work.

Investigations in Number, Data, Space. Technical Education Research Center (TERC), 2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140. Telephone: 617-547-0430. Project Directors: Susan Jo Russell, James Kaput. Contact: Lorraine Brooks at <lorraine_brooks@terc.edu>.

A comprehensive mathematics curriculum for grades K-6 based on investigations in number, data, and space, emphasizing depth and understanding. The curriculum stresses mathematics as a pattern-finding science, makes the discipline more accessible to both students and teachers, and builds teachers' knowledge of how students learn mathematics. Goals include meaningful mathematical problems; depth in mathematical thinking rather than superficial exposure to a series of fragmented topics; communication of mathematics content and pedagogy to teachers; and a substantial expansion of the pool of mathematically literate students. Ten curriculum modules for each grade level will focus on investigations that introduce key mathematical content within a compelling context. The curriculum invites all students into mathematics--boys and girls; diverse cultural, ethnic, and language groups; and students with different strengths and interests. Pedagogy is built into the print materials through scenarios depicting analytic work in classrooms and into videotapes of effective mathematics teaching. The curriculum is being published by Dale Seymour Publications.

Math Trailblazers: Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science. Institute for Mathematics and Science Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60680. Telephone: 312-996-2448. Project Directors: Philip Wagreich, Howard Goldberg. Contact: Joan Bieler at <jbieler@uic.edu> or Cathy Kelso at <ckelso@uic.edu>.

Math Trailblazers: A Mathematical Journey Using Science and Language provides a complete K-5 mathematics and science curriculum based on the premise that mathematics and science is best learned through active involvement in solving real problems. The goal is for students to become independent thinkers who will take responsibility for their own learning and be confident that they can solve problems using a variety of strategies. The classroom materials will include a total of 140 hands-on experiments which combine knowledge of significant science and mathematics, problem solving modules, a textbook, and an adventure book. Students will pursue problems in small groups, discover relationships through experiments, and discuss their results; they will gather, graph, and analyze data, make conjectures, find alternative methods, discuss connections, verify conclusions, and reinforce skills. The curriculum makes extensive use of calculators and computers. Support for the curriculum includes extensive teacher materials in addition to a teacher preparation textbook, a staff development program, an assessment package, and a program for parent involvement.

Middle School Projects

The Show-Me Center. University of Missouri, 104 Stewart Hall. Columbia, MO 65211. Clearinghouse for information about the NSF-supported Middle School Curriculum Projects. Telephone: 573-884-2099. Contact: Barbara Reys at <center@showme.missouri.edu>.

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP). Michigan State University, Department of Mathematics, East Lansing, MI 48824. Telephone: 517-432-2870. Project Directors: William Fitzgerald, Glenda Lappan, Elizabeth Phillips, James Fey, and Susan Friel. Contact: Betty Philips at <cmp@math.msu.edu>.

A three-year mathematics curriculum for middle grades that is rich in connections among the strands of mathematics, between mathematics and other disciplines, and between the teaching activities and the interests of students. Materials include a set of seven or eight units for grades 6-8, each of which develops a major set of concepts using a series investigations that are accompanied by problems that can be used for homework or extensions. Major strands include integers, rational numbers, and computation (including decimals, percents, proportion, similarity, probability, statistics, measurement and graphs); development of algebraic concepts and symbol manipulation; statistics and data analysis; and geometry. A set of teacher guides and student activities supplement the curriculum materials, as does an extensive network of professional development centers to educate teachers in the use of the CMP curriculum.

Mathematics in Context. Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706. Telephone: 608-263-1798. Project Director: Thomas Romberg. Contact: Meg Meyer at <mrmeyer@macc.wisc.edu>.

A complete mathematics curriculum for grades 5-8 that is adapted, in part, from materials developed in The Netherlands. In the spirit of the NCTM Standards, the new curriculum will lead students to value mathematics; to become confident in their ability to do mathematics; to become mathematical problem-solvers; to learn to communicate mathematically; and to learn to reason mathematically. In addition to developing instructional materials for both the classroom and teachers, the project is developing a teacher support network, designing assessment procedures for teachers, and developing a core readiness examination for students preparing for secondary mathematics.

MathScape: Seeing and Thinking Mathematically. Education Development Center, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02101. Telephone: 617-969-7100. Project Directors: Glenn Kleiman, Elizabeth Bjork. Contact: Susan Janssen at <mathscape@edc.org>.

A new curriculum for grades six through eight designed to help students see and think mathematically and to help teachers make the transition to a mathematics curriculum suited to the information age. The project builds upon the central theme of mathematics in the human experience; reflects a view of learning as a process of constructing one's own knowledge; emphasizes the importance of the social context of learning for middle school students; and integrates the use of computer simulations, exploratory environments, and other tools. Project materials will help teachers create a community of mathematics learners in the classroom; engage students in authentic and creative mathematical work; provide a balance of hands-on experience, modeling symbolic work , individual work, group work, writing, discussion, and use of calculators and computers; provide opportunities for all students to bring their experiences and interests to the classroom; employ new approaches to assessment; and build connections to other disciplines and to students' lives outside of school. For publication information, contact Heinemann Publishing, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801-3912; Telephone: 800-541-2086.

Middle School Mathematics Through Applications Project (MMAP). Institute for Research on Learning, 66 Willow Place, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Telephone: 650-687-7918. Project Directors: Shelley Goldman, Ray McDermott, James Greeno, George Pake. Contact: Jennifer Knudsen at <jennifer_knudsen@irl.org>.

In this project, middle school students will apply the process of mathematical modeling to real-world problem situations requiring regular use of technology. The activities are being developed with the help of Sandia Laboratory engineers to create projects that incorporate significant aspects of scientists' and engineers' work practices. MMAP has four major objectives: (i) to create a new community of mathematics practices; (ii) to create new learning materials and collaborative activity structures; (iii) to design new teaching and assessment practices; and (iv) to develop cognitive and ethnographic research in teaching and learning practices. The result will be a community of mathematics teachers, educators, and mathematics-using professionals who work together in on-going seminars and summer institutes to develop mathematics materials based on real science and engineering problems. MMAP is a joint effort of the Institute for Research on Learning, the Stanford University School of Education, and Sandia Laboratories.

Math Thematics: Six Through Eight Mathematics (STEM). Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812-2491; Telephone: 406-243-2603. Project Director: Rick Billstein <rickb@selway.umt.edu>.

STEM is designed to provide teachers with curricular materials that are mathematically accurate, utilize technology, and provide students with bridges to the sciences and other mathematical fields. These materials are designed to integrate communication into mathematics by providing opportunities for students to use reading, writing, and speaking as tools for learning mathematics. Materials are problem and application-based, and provide opportunities for the students to work together cooperatively on projects. The curriculum will include ten instructional units for grades six, seven, and eight.

Secondary School Projects

Compass Center. Ithaca College, 306 Williams Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850. Clearinghouse for information about the NSF-supported Secondary School Curriculum Projects. Telephone: 800-688-1829. Contact: Eric Robinson at <compass@ithaca.edu>.

Contemporary Mathematics in Context: The Core-Plus Mathematics Project (CPMP). Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5152; Telephone: 616-387-4562. Project Directors: Arthur Coxsford, Christian Hirsch, James Fey, Harold Schoen. Contact: Beth Ritsema at <cpmp@wmich.edu>.

A three-year integrated high school program for all students, plus materials for a fourth-year option continuing the preparation of students for college mathematics. The CPMP three-year curriculum provides a common core of mathematical experiences together with differentiated applications and extensions of the core topics that offer choices for teachers and variety for students of all abilities. Each year's curriculum includes multiple strands of algebra and functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics; strands are connected within units by common topics and across units by habits of mind and the fundamental themes of data, representation, shape, and change. The curriculum emphasizes mathematical modeling and features full use of graphing calculators.

The project is a joint undertaking of development teams at Western Michigan University, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan, with collaborators at California State University at Northridge and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The curriculum is being published as Contemporary Mathematics in Context: A Unified Approach by Everyday Learning, 1-800-322-MATH.

Interactive Mathematics Project (IMP). Department of Mathematics, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132; Telephone: 415-332-3328. Project Directors: Diane Resek, Lynne Alper, Daniel Fendel, Sherry Fraser. Contact: Janice Bussey, IMP, P. O. Box 2891, Sausalito, CA 94966; Telephone: 888-628-4467; E-mail: <imp@math.sfsu.edu>.

IMP is a four-year high school mathematics curriculum featuring problem-based units on topics with mathematical interest or applications to physics, economics, art, sociology, and other fields. This IMP secondary mathematics curriculum eliminates tracking completely and has proven to be effective with all students at all levels. The current Phase II, building on earlier work, is centered on the fourth year curriculum; on supplementary materials to allow greater teacher flexibility in meeting the wide range of student needs; on conducting a thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of the curriculum; on assessing the various models of teacher development; and on disseminating the program through large regional centers. IMP materials are being published by Key Curriculum Press.

Math Connections: Secondary Mathematics Core Curriculum Initiative. CBIA Education Foundation, 370 Asylum St., Hartford, CT 06103-2022; Telephone: 860-244-1942; E-mail: mathconx@aol.com. Project Director: June Ellis <jellis@math.connections.com>.

Designed to prepare the next generation of students for the mathematical demands of the 21st Century, this project seeks to bridge the worlds of education and business through the world of mathematics; to increase the mathematical power of all students; to empower students for their own learning; to develop a core curriculum that reflects the NCTM Standards (including technology, pedagogy and alternative assessment standards); and to empower teachers.

The curriculum is based on topical (rather than problem) themes. It uses common thematic threads to connect and blend many mathematical topics that traditionally have been taught separately and independently--algebra, geometry, trigonometry, probability, statistics and discrete mathematics. This approach emphasizes the unity and interconnectedness among mathematical ideas; between mathematics and science; between mathematics and other subjects (history, literature and art); between mathematics and the "real world". The integration of technology into the curriculum provides the students with the tools for exploring this unity and interconnectedness in greater depth and breadth.

Mathematics: Modeling Our World (ARISE). Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) , Suite 210, 57 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02173; Telephone: 800-772-6627. Project Directors: Landy Godbold, Solomon Garfunkel; E-mail: <sol@mail.comap.com>.

Originally called "Applications/Reform in Secondary Education" (ARISE), Modeling Our World is a three-year curriculum for students in grades 9 to 11 that is organized not around mathematical topics, but around application and themes. Students analyze real-world situations, develop mathematical models to fit them, check the models against reality, and improve them. Students completing this curriculum will be prepared for all 12th grade options. Materials will incorporate computer and calculator experiences, a video applications library, appropriate assessment instruments, and teacher manuals. The Educational Film Center is responsible for video development; Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are directing the field testing, and the Freudenthal Institute of the Netherlands is assisting in developing appropriate assessment strategies.

Connected Geometry. Education Development Center, 55 Chapel St., Newton, MA 02158-1060. Project Directors: Albert A. Cuoco and June Mark. Contact: Jack Janssen at 617-969-7101 or by e-mail at: <jackj@edc.org>.

Connected Geometry is designed to make mathematics compelling and attractive to students. To do this, the project will bring a culture of mathematical exploration into the classroom and connect students' mathematical experiences with each other and with the rest of students' experiences. Many of the modules make use of technology, including dynamic geometry software and Logo. Example modules: Making the Cut; Similarity and Optimization; Self-Similarity and Mathematical Induction; Jurassic Math; Paper Folding; Navigation and Trigonometry.

SIMMS: Integrated Mathematics: A Modeling Approach (SIMSS). 401 Linfield Hall, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-0281. Telephone: 800-693-4060. Contact: Gary Bauer at <gbauer@math.montana.edu>.

The Systemic Initiative for Montana Mathematics and Science (SIMMS) has nine major objectives, including the redesign of the 9-12 mathematics curriculum using an integrated, interdisciplinary approach for all students, and the incorporation of technology at all levels of mathematics and science. SIMMS materials are partitioned into six levels of approximately 16 modules each. In addition to incorporating a wide range of contexts, the modules provide a variety of instructional formats including individual and cooperative group work, whole-class discussions, and individual and group projects. Since a significant portion of classroom activity is directed by student reaction to the material, the role of the teacher is expanded to include facilitator, motivator, and questioner.

The SIMMS project expects that students will have ready access to graphing calculators and a spreadsheet, geometric drawing, graphing, and statistics packages, a symbolic manipulator, and a word processor. In addition, SIMMS students learn to use modems, as well as science-interface devices that collect data from classroom experiments in electronic form.

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Last Update: 07/28/98 Comments to: >extend@stolaf.edu