• The Nature and Roles of Research in Improving Achievement in Mathematics

    Douglas Carnine, Russell Gersten
    In describing the role research should play in the new National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics: Discussion Draft (1998), the authors noted, "With an emphasis on understanding mathematics that is fundamental, educators can be supported as they move beyond some of the superficial interpretations that have been made of ideas from the previous Standards documents. Currently, there are instructional programs that have emphasized solely some of the pedagogical intentions of standards--such as discourse, worthwhile mathematical tasks, or learning from problems--without sufficient attention to students' learning of mathematics content. (p. 17)" However, a major issue in the field of mathematics education is what type or types of research should play this critical role (Kelly & Lesh, 1999). In particular, a major focus in the current debates is whether controlled experimental or quasi-experimental research--conducted in real classroom settings--should be the predominant determinant of policy and practice