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across the grades. The examples were chosen to illustrate these ideas and to portray teaching practices that will support all students in learning such mathematics.


Essentially the recommendations made in Principles and Standards are the principles and standards themselves. The document offers six overarching themes—the “principles for schools mathematics” —to provide a lens for considering decisions about the content and character of school mathematics (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.

The mathematical content of the curriculum is organized into five major content strands for school mathematics (numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability) and five major process domains (problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations). The five strands describe the content students should learn, and the five domains describe the processes through which students learn mathematics and demonstrate the mathematics they have learned. The heart of Principles and Standards elaborates on the mathematical expectations, instructional strategies, and assessment practices that guide the effective and coherent implementation of these standards at the four grade bands.

Highlighted recommendations include the following:

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