BOX 2–1 Basic Principles and Features of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

This document is intended to (p. 6):

  • set forth a comprehensive and coherent set of goals for mathematics for all students from prekindergarten through grade 12 that will orient curricular, teaching, and assessment efforts during the next decades;

  • serve as a resource for teachers, education leaders, and policymakers to use in examining and improving the quality of mathematics instructional programs;

  • guide the development of curriculum frameworks, assessments, and instructional materials;

  • stimulate ideas and ongoing conversations at the national, provincial or state, and local levels about how best to help students gain a deep understanding of important mathematics.

The six principles for school mathematics address overarching themes (p. 11):

  • Equity. Excellence in mathematics education requires equity—high expectations and strong support for all students.

  • Curriculum. A curriculum is more than a collection of activities: it must be coherent, focused on important mathematics, and well articulated across the grades.

  • Teaching. Effective mathematics teaching requires understanding what students know and need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it well.

  • Learning. Students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and prior knowledge.

  • Assessment. Assessment should support the learning of important mathematics and furnish useful information to both teachers and students.

  • Technology. Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning.

SOURCE: NCTM, 2000.

(NCTM, 2000), under the umbrella of goals and principles, focuses on content expectations along with instruction and assessment and devotes increased attention to the vertical (pre-K-12) development of important mathematical ideas (see Box 2–1).1

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Several publications document the development, expected applications, and dissemination of NCTM mathematics standards, and their use in developing state standards (NRC and NCTM, 1997; Romberg, 1998; Kirst and Bird, 1997; McLeod et al, 1996; Humphrey et al., 1997; CCSSO, 1997; Weiss et al., 1994).



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