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Expanding the Notion of Impact of K–12 Standards-based Mathematics and Reform Calculus Programs

John P. Smith II, Jon R. Star 

January 2007, Volume 38, Issue 1, Page 3

Research on the impact of Standards-based, K–12 mathematics programs (i.e., written curricula and associated teaching practices) and of reform calculus programs has focused primarily on student achievement and secondarily, and rather ineffectively, on student attitudes. This research has shown that reform programs have competed well with traditional programs in terms of student achievement. Results for attitude  change have been much less conclusive because of conceptual and methodological problems. We critically review this literature to argue for broader conceptions of impact that target new dimensions of program effect and examine interactions between dimensions. We also briefly present the conceptualization, design, and broad results of one study, the Mathematical Transitions Project (MTP), which expanded the range of impact along those lines. The MTP results reveal substantial diversity in students' experience within and between research sites, different patterns of experience between  high school and university students, and surprising relationships between achievement and attitude for some students.

Linking Research and Practice
Calculus and Higher Level Mathematics
Conceptual Development
Grades 9-12
Math Coordinator / Coach
Numbers and Operations
Skill and Fluency
Professional Development / Teacher Education
Reasoning and Proof