To test the vision of Standards–based mathematics education, we conducted a comparative study of the effects of the Core-Plus Mathematics Project (CPMP) curriculum and more conventional curricula on growth of student understanding, skill, and problem-solving ability in algebra. Results indicate that the CPMP curriculum is more effective than conventional curricula in developing student ability to solve algebraic problems when those problems are presented in realistic contexts and when students are allowed to use graphing calculators. Conventional curricula are more effective than the CPMP curriculum in developing student skills in manipulation of symbolic expressions in algebra when those expressions are presented free of application context and when students are not allowed to use graphing calculators.
Mary Ann Huntley, Research Associate, National Center for Improving Science Education, 1726 M Street NW, Suite 704, Washington, DC 20036; Huntley@NCISE.org
Chris L. Rasmussen, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics, Purdue University-Calumet, Hammond, IN 46323-2094; Raz@calumet.purdue.edu
Roberto Villarubi, Center for Mathematics Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaruwan Sangtong, Center for Mathematics Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; Sangtong@wam.umd.edu
James Fey, Professor, Departments of Curriculum & Instruction and Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; JF7@umail.umd.edu