mathematics faculty responsible for teaching mathematics content to prospective elementary and middle grades teachers need access to appropriate high-quality materials. Staff developers who offer long-term workshops in schools need new materials that focus on the important mathematics of the K-8 grades. In the short term, prototype course modules in mathematics content for use with prospective teachers at undergraduate institutions should be developed and disseminated to faculty in mathematics departments via the Internet and a national colloquium. Similarly, appropriate materials for inservice teacher development should be selected or developed and disseminated for school-based leaders in mathematics education, with involvement by the mathematics teacher professional organizations.

Recommendations for Integrating Technology into the Classroom

We recommend that technology be made available on an equitable basis for use in improving student learning and enhancing teacher professional development.

Technology includes computers, calculators, and other learning tools that can help students with a diversity of learning needs and preferences. In addition, technological tools provide teachers with an enhanced array of strategies for instruction. Research indicates some promising uses of technology as a means of helping learners understand mathematics concepts more deeply and effectively (Heid, 1988; Hembree & Dessart, 1986), and continued research into the pedagogical implications of various uses of new technology is needed. Such instructional use of technology, to be effective, requires appropriate subject matter understanding on the part of teachers.

A key step here will be for the Federal government to follow through as soon as possible with its commitment to make the Internet available to all schools. The Internet has potential value for networking students and teachers, and for dissemination of educationally valuable materials. At a different level, the technological opportunities for teacher learning, for professional collaboration, and for building of networks around professional interests are burgeoning and promise an end to the traditional isolation of teachers. Literature in professional development is quite clear on the benefits of providing professional development opportunities within a support community (Lord, 1994).

To carry out this recommendation, it will be essential to:

  • Enable teachers to establish contacts for mentoring, participate in networks, and access a variety of curricular and pedagogical models, via technology.

Over the long term, increased research about how teacher learning and development occurs through innovative technologies will be critical to using these resources most effectively. In the short term, expecting all federally-funded teacher enhancement and professional development programs to have an Internet component would be useful.

  • Provide all students with access to appropriate technologies for learning mathematics.



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mathematics faculty responsible for teaching mathematics content to prospective elementary and middle grades teachers need access to appropriate high-quality materials. Staff developers who offer long-term workshops in schools need new materials that focus on the important mathematics of the K-8 grades. In the short term, prototype course modules in mathematics content for use with prospective teachers at undergraduate institutions should be developed and disseminated to faculty in mathematics departments via the Internet and a national colloquium. Similarly, appropriate materials for inservice teacher development should be selected or developed and disseminated for school-based leaders in mathematics education, with involvement by the mathematics teacher professional organizations. Recommendations for Integrating Technology into the Classroom We recommend that technology be made available on an equitable basis for use in improving student learning and enhancing teacher professional development. Technology includes computers, calculators, and other learning tools that can help students with a diversity of learning needs and preferences. In addition, technological tools provide teachers with an enhanced array of strategies for instruction. Research indicates some promising uses of technology as a means of helping learners understand mathematics concepts more deeply and effectively (Heid, 1988; Hembree & Dessart, 1986), and continued research into the pedagogical implications of various uses of new technology is needed. Such instructional use of technology, to be effective, requires appropriate subject matter understanding on the part of teachers. A key step here will be for the Federal government to follow through as soon as possible with its commitment to make the Internet available to all schools. The Internet has potential value for networking students and teachers, and for dissemination of educationally valuable materials. At a different level, the technological opportunities for teacher learning, for professional collaboration, and for building of networks around professional interests are burgeoning and promise an end to the traditional isolation of teachers. Literature in professional development is quite clear on the benefits of providing professional development opportunities within a support community (Lord, 1994). To carry out this recommendation, it will be essential to: Enable teachers to establish contacts for mentoring, participate in networks, and access a variety of curricular and pedagogical models, via technology. Over the long term, increased research about how teacher learning and development occurs through innovative technologies will be critical to using these resources most effectively. In the short term, expecting all federally-funded teacher enhancement and professional development programs to have an Internet component would be useful. Provide all students with access to appropriate technologies for learning mathematics.

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All federally funded programs for pre-school and K-8 students should include an appropriate introduction to the effective use of calculators and other technology. The national test should be constructed to include the judicious use of calculators. In this way the test can focus on higher-order conceptual understanding. This might also help ensure that technology is made available widely in the middle grades. In the short term, synthesis and dissemination of existing research and examples about the promising uses of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and other technologies for enhancing mathematics education should be assembled and disseminated widely. Models are needed by parents, teachers, and students for productively using test items to improve mathematics learning. Recommendations for Building Public Support We recommend that public information efforts highlight the linkages between the national test and the associated action plan, in order to mobilize the general public and the mathematics community to understand the entire process. In particular, the public, the business community, and the mathematics community need to understand how any national test might be used as a vehicle for improving mathematics education. It is likely that the public will measure the effectiveness of the action plan strategies by progress on the proposed national test. Any test explicitly intended to promote improvement in student learning and in mathematics education more generally is not as familiar to the public as a test designed to measure the status quo. Such a test would be an indicator of “what ought to be” rather than “what is.” Helping the public understand the complexity and enormity of change and improvement, on a time frame they will tolerate, is challenging. To carry out this recommendation, it will be essential to: Organize immediately a public information effort, managed by a consortium of mathematics and mathematics education organizations and an experienced public information firm, to design and implement a program introducing and promoting the importance of high standards in K-8 mathematics. This effort could extend the experiences that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics have had in the areas of public information. A major goal would be to influence public opinion about the need for a significant mathematics experience for all students through grade eight, and to explain how a national test could promote this goal. New curriculum materials and standards-like goals need to be part of the public awareness, as well as information about the various purposes and types of assessment. Considerations about how to motivate students to see this test as important are crucial. This effort should also highlight the importance of mathematics in applications, the beauty of mathematics as a field, and the role of mathematics as a gateway to careers and to higher education.