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1 This resource was developed by CSMC faculty and doctoral students with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI The opinions and information provided do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation

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2 Committees and Reports that Have Influenced the Changing Mathematics Curriculum This set of PowerPoint slides is one of a series of resources produced by the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum. These materials are provided to facilitate greater understanding of mathematics curriculum change and permission is granted for their educational use. An Agenda for Action: Recommendations for School Mathematics of the 1980s National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) 1980

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3 An Agenda for Action: Recommendations for School Mathematics of the 1980s National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 1980

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4 Pendulum of popular psychology was in full swing. –1960s were characterized by discovery learning and humanistic psychology. –1970s were characterized by behavioral psychology closely tied to a “back to basics” movement. There was a need for national direction for mathematics education. National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests in 1973 and 1978 showed a decrease in mathematical achievement for both 13- and 17-year-old students. Priorities in School Mathematics (PRISM) survey revealed shifts in preferences and curriculum priorities in the mathematics education community. Forces at Work

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5 Prominent Issues The role of emerging technology, particularly handheld calculators, in school mathematics The role of problem solving in school mathematics The future of the metric system Self-paced mathematics instruction

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6 NCTM Board of Directors Shirley Hill, President Max Sobel, President-elect Board Members: Sarah BurkhartJames Rubillo LeRoy DaltonJesse Rudnick Edgar EdwardsWilliam Stannard Gail LoweCatherine Tobin Jane MartinJames Wilson Douglas PotvinJune Yamashita

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7 An Agenda for Action Was Informed by the Work of Three Groups Mathematics Curriculum for the 1980s Committee George Immerzeel, F. Joe Crosswhite, LeRoy Dalton, Catherine Tobin, and James W. Wilson Task Force on Recommendations Harold Trimble, Jane Gawronski, James Gray, Patricia Koch, Donald Krieder, and Gwendolyn Shufelt Priorities in School Mathematics Project (PRISM) Alan Osborne, Jon Higgins, Peggy Kasten, and Marilyn Suydam

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8 Recommendations 1. Problem solving must be the focus of school mathematics in the 1980s. 2.The concept of basic skills in mathematics must encompass more than computational facility. 3.Mathematics programs must take full advantage of the power of calculators and computers at all grade levels. 4.Stringent standards of both effectiveness and efficiency must be applied to the teaching of mathematics.

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9 Recommendations 5.The success of mathematics programs and student learning must be evaluated by a wider range of measures than conventional testing. 6.More mathematics study must be required for all students and a flexible curriculum with a greater range of options should be designed to accommodate the diverse needs of the student population. 7.Mathematics teachers must demand of themselves and their colleagues a high level of professionalism. 8.Public support for mathematics instruction must be raised to a level commensurate with the importance of mathematical understanding to individuals and society.

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10 Four of the Recommendations Focused on Curriculum 1. Problem solving must be the focus of school mathematics in the 1980s. 2.The concept of basic skills in mathematics must encompass more than computational facility. 3.Mathematics programs must take full advantage of the power of calculators and computers at all grade levels. 6.More mathematics study must be required for all students and a flexible curriculum with a greater range of options should be designed to accommodate the diverse needs of the student population.

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11 Problem Solving as a Focus of School Mathematics Curriculum Implications The mathematics curriculum should be organized around problem solving. The definition and language of problem solving in mathematics should be developed and expanded to include a broad range of strategies, processes, and modes of presentation that encompass the full potential of mathematical applications. Appropriate curricular materials to teach problem solving should be developed for all grade levels.

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12 Mathematics programs of the 1980s should involve students in problem solving by presenting applications at all grade levels. Researchers and funding agencies should give priority to investigations into the nature of problem solving and to effective ways to develop problem solvers, including the development of good prototype material using all media.

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13 Expanded View of Basic Skills in Mathematics Curriculum Implications The full scope of what is basic should contain at least the 10 basic skill areas identified by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics: problem solving; applying mathematics in everyday situations; alertness to the reasonableness of results; estimation and approximation; appropriate computational skills; geometry; measurement; reading, interpreting, and constructing tables, charts, and graphs; using mathematics to predict; and computer literacy.

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14 The identification of basic skills in mathematics is a dynamic process and should be continually updated to reflect new and changing needs. Changes in the priorities and emphases in the instructional program should be made in order to reflect the expanded concept of basic skills. Teachers should incorporate estimation activities into all areas of the program on a regular and sustaining basis, in particular encouraging the use of estimating skills to pose and select alternatives and to assess what a reasonable answer may be.

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15 Teachers should provide ample opportunities for students to learn communication skills in mathematics. They should systematically guide students to read mathematics and to talk about it with clarity. The higher-order mental processes of logical reasoning, information processing, and decision making should be considered basic to the application of mathematics. Mathematics curricula and teachers should set as objectives the development of logical processes, concepts, and language…

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16 Use of Calculators and Computers at All Grade Levels Curriculum Implications All students should have access to calculators and increasingly to computers throughout their school mathematics program. The use of electronic tools such as calculators and computers should be integrated into the core mathematics curriculum.

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17 Curriculum materials that integrate and require the use of the calculator and computer in diverse and imaginative ways should be developed and made available. A computer literacy course, familiarizing the student with the role and impact of the computer, should be a part of the general education of every student. Secondary school computer courses should be designed to provide the necessary background for advanced work in computer science.

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18 More Mathematics and a Flexible Curriculum to Accommodate the Diverse Needs of All Students Curriculum Implications In secondary school, the curriculum should become more flexible, permitting a greater number of options for a diversified student population. Mathematics educators and college mathematicians should reevaluate the role of calculus in the differentiated mathematics programs.

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19 The curriculum that stresses problem solving must pay special heed to the developmental sequence best suited to achieving process goals, not just content goals. Special programs stressing problem-solving skills should be devised for special categories of students.

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20 Significance and Impact NCTM took on a stronger role as an advocate on issues in mathematics education and that role continued. Publishers devoted more attention to problem solving in their textbooks and in other instructional materials. Increased interest among teachers and curriculum developers in the use of technology, particularly handheld calculators. Stimulated increased attention to professional development and teacher quality. Created momentum that set the stage for the development of the NCTM 1989 Standards. Funding agencies supported more research related to problem solving.

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21 References Hill, S. H. (1981). The Agenda for Action as a potential agent for change in the mathematics curriculum. Changing school mathematics: A responsive process. Reston, VA: NCTM. Hill, S. H. (1983). An Agenda for Action status and impact. The Agenda in Action (1983 Yearbook). Reston, VA: NCTM. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1980). An Agenda for Action: Recommendations for school mathematics of the 1980s. Reston, VA: Author. Sobel, M. (1981). Implementing the Agenda for Action. Changing school mathematics: A responsive process. Reston, VA: NCTM.

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