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Setting the Record Straight or Setting Up a Research Agenda?—A Review of Standards-Based School Mathematics Curricula

Jinfa Cal 

May 2003, Volume 34, Issue 3, Page 260

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) published its Standards documents, which provided recommendations for reforming and improving K–12 school mathematics. With extensive support from the National Science Foundation, a number of Standards-based school mathematics curricula were developed and implemented to align with the recommendations in the Standards. The implementation of Standards-based instructional materials requires change not only in how mathematics is viewed but also in how mathematics is taught and learned. Thus, teachers and school districts face challenges when trying to implement Standards-based curricula. Moreover, because the Standards-based curricula claim to have different learning goals and they also look very different from traditional mathematical curricula, some parents, professionals, and school communities challenge both the new goals and the efficacy of these new curricula.