Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More on math

It's been math-o-rama in the edusphere since the US National Council of Teachers of Math's release of its new math curriculum recommendations last week. As predicted, aftershocks have ensued:
  • Ken de Rosa at D-Ed Reckoning deconstructs and analyzes that editorial in his typical, pithy style -- worth a read.
  • Kitchen Table Math points out that while the mind may be willing, the NCTM's heart is weak, noting the NCTM's executive director is already backtracking on the issue. (Click here to hear the podcast of San Francisco Chronicle's Debra J. Saunders describing her brief conversation with the NCTM's director. It's really interesting, but sad too.)
What are the options to "Fuzzy Math"? The programs I've seen floated include Singapore Math (click here for info, and have a look at the placement tests), Saxon Math, and Connecting Math Concepts.

But take all of this with a grain of salt: See the What Works Clearinghouse (a research database sponsored by the US Department of Education's Institute of Educational Sciences) for analyses of several different math programs for elementary and middle schools. The research on all is pretty underwhelming.

Clearly, we're only witnessing the beginning of this debate.


At 7:51 PM, Blogger KDeRosa said...

Most of the research on WWC are middle school programs. SM, Saxon, and CMC are mostly elementary school programs. CMC does have some research support (a lot if you count all the research on its very similar predecessor DISTAR arithmetic) for k-3 and k-5. I don't know of any research conducted on SM in the US, though it is phenomenally sucessful in Singapore. Saxon has some research too. We'll have to wait until the WWC evaluates these programs at the elementary school level.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Cheryl van Tilburg said...

Wow, Ken de Rosa is in the house! (Okay, now my daughter's really going to die of embarrassment... it's gangsta mom.)

Thanks for all the excellent info on the research on these math programs. Since we're only an hour or so away from Singapore, I'm going to dig around and see if there's any literature on the SM program there.

Thanks for checking in to our little blog, Ken.


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