Principles to Actions: Moving to a framework for teaching mathematics

Author: DeAnn Huinker
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In 1989 the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) launched the standards-based education movement with the release of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 1989). Subsequent publications built on this foundation by further detailing the mathematics content of student learning (NCTM 2000, 2006; CCSSI 2010). We have learned, however, that more is needed than content standards if we are to realize the goal of high levels of mathematical understanding by each and every student. For that reason, NCTM formed a writing team in 2012 to envision and develop a document that could guide mathematics education into the future. I served as one of three lead writers on this team. After several revisions, including feedback on a public review draft, our work resulted in the publication of Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM 2014). In this article, I provide some background on Principles to Actions, reflect on its initial impact, and suggest next steps for our professional work toward ambitious teaching of mathematics.

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Contributor Notes

DeAnn Huinker,, is a professor of mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is interested in the preparation and development of teachers, coaches, and leaders in implementing effective teaching of mathematics.

(Corresponding author is Huinker
Teaching Children Mathematics


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