Box 4–1 Intertwined Strands of Proficiency

work has some similarities with the one used in recent mathematics assessments by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which features three mathematical abilities (conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge, and problem solving) and includes additional specifications for reasoning, connections, and communication.2 The strands also echo components of mathematics learning that have been identified in materials for teachers. At the same time, research and theory in cognitive science provide general support for the ideas contributing to these five strands. Fundamental in that work has been the central role of mental representations. How learners represent and connect pieces of knowledge is a key factor in whether they will understand it deeply and can use it in problem solving. Cognitive



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