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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about books and journals published by NCTM. 


Does NCTM recommend or endorse textbooks that 'meet the Standards'?

NCTM does not recommend, evaluate, or endorse any mathematics textbook, curriculum, or instructional program. There is no "one way" to teach mathematics. Nor is there only one textbook or program that should be used.

However, there are certain requisites that teaching materials must meet if they are to move students closer to realizing the goals of the Standards. The sequence, timing, developmental appropriateness, and complexity of mathematical tasks described in these materials have a direct impact on the quality of the mathematical content students receive.

To evaluate the mathematical content in instructional materials, we should ask the following questions:

  • Do the teaching materials ask students to perform at high cognitive levels?
  • Do the materials help teachers understand the content for themselves and foster a better understanding of the teaching and learning of mathematics?
  • Do the materials integrate assessment into the teaching and learning process?

The appendix of Principles and Standards includes a detailed Table of Standards and Expectations across the four grade bands, which can be used to evaluate materials and programs.


I am doing research on ________________ for a mathematics education course. Can you help?

The NCTM Headquarters Office does not have staff to conduct research for individuals on specific topics. However, NCTM does provide a number of resources that may assist researchers.

NCTM's Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME) provides a forum for disciplined inquiry into the teaching and learning of mathematics.

In addition, see the online article indices for Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and Mathematics Teacher for topics of interest.


Where can I find lesson plans on your Web site?

The Illuminations Web site offers Standards-based lesson plans, including interactive applets for exploration, learning, and application of mathematics.

NCTM produced the Navigations series to support Principles and Standards. Navigations is a grade-band series of books that contain practical, teacher-tested activities and materials. A CD-ROM with additional resources, such as electronic applets and selected articles, accompanies each book. The Navigations series includes 35 titles. The books are available individually or bundled.


Where can I get a diagnostic tool (or other assessment or test instrument) to test students at a certain grade level?

NCTM does not recommend specific assessment instruments.

The ERIC/AE Test Locator has a database of approximately 10,000 test descriptions accessible through the Internet. This source may help you find what you need.


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