N.S.F. Awards $6 Million for Math Curriculum

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A group of five university-based teams has been awarded a $6 million grant to develop a technology-based high school mathematics curriculum designed to be equally accessible to both college-bound and non-college-bound students.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded the researchers, who are affiliated with the Core-Plus Mathematics Project, more than $1 million to begin the five-year project.

The project is a joint undertaking of researchers at Western Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Iowa.

Christian R. Hirsch, the project's director and a math and statistics professor at Western Michigan, said the project is aimed at helping to abolish the tracking of math students into separate academic and vocational courses.

"A close look at the two tracks in high school mathematics today reveals serious deficiencies in each,'' he said. "Neither does justice to contemporary math or the needs of students in contemporary society.''

Working with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Mr. Hirsch edited a proposed core math curriculum for grades 9-12 that contains similar proposals for technology immersion and flexible curriculum. The core curriculum was published as an addendum to the N.C.T.M.'s teaching standards. (See Education Week, April 8, 1992.)

The Core-Plus project seeks to weave together four major strands into a simplified curriculum that meets the needs of all students, Mr. Hirsch said.

Under the curriculum, students would study concepts of algebra and functions, statistics and probability, geometry and trigonometry, and discrete math, including graphs and algorithm design, in each of their three years of instruction.

Representatives of the textbook publisher Glencoe, a division of MacMillan/McGraw-Hill, and Texas Instruments, which manufactures graphing calculators, will also participate in the project.

Glencoe hopes to publish the new curriculum materials, while Texas Instruments may develop a new machine that would be compatible with the curriculum.--ðŸ÷Ÿ

Vol. 12, Issue 06

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