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Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Coburn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

How well do pupils subtract? One would expect 13-year-olds to do much better than 9-year-old, but would they make similar errors? How would the performance of 17-year-olds and young adults on subtraction problems compare with other age groups? Are pupils today subtracting better or worse than similar pupils were years ago? These and other questions will be considered in this article that reports national performance levels of various age groups on selected subtraction problems used in the 1972–73 mathematics assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

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Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Coburn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

Little attention was given to the study of geometry in the elementary school until the curriculum changes instituted during the 1960s. The goals for geometry in the modern programs varied from visualizing and describing spatial concepts and relationships to developing aesthetic abilities and critical thinking skills. In addition to the importance of developing spatial concepts, some mathematics educators feel that geometric ideas are helpful in developing certain measurement and number ideas. Thus geometry has several basic ro les to play in the elementary school mathematics curriculum and its inclusion is well justified.

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Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Coburn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

Development of computational skills with fractions has long been a part of the upper elementary and junior high school mathematics program. Current movements toward metrication have led some individuals to suggest that decimals will receive more attention in the mathematics curriculum with a corresponding de-emphasis on fractions. The suggestion may find an increased number of supporters, as recurring evidence indicates that pupil performance with fractions is discouragingly low. An alternative point of view is that although metrication may somewhat alter work with fractions, their importance within the structure of mathematics and to applications justifies their continued emphasis in the curriculum.

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Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Coburn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

Most assessment and evaluation measures check only for the result or answer obtained in a computation or in solving a problem. This note examines exercises from the Mathematics Assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress designed to examine some of the processes students use in doing computations, along with measuring their computation performance.

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Edited by Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Copurn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

There is general agreement that developing skill in estimation should be a major objective of the school mathematics curriculum. Recent recommendations identifying basic competencies essential for enlightened citizenship have all included estimation as a fundamental skill that every student needs to Jearn (see for example Bell 1974; Edwards, Nichols, and Sharpe 1972: National Institute of Education, in press; Skvarcius 1973). In fact, estimation is more important than precise calculation for many common uses of mathematics.

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James W. Wilson, Catherine A. Brown, Carolyn Kieran and Frank K. Lester Jr.

This special issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education was prepared to help celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the journal. President Mary Lindquist appointed an ad hoc task force to develop activities to mark this 25th year. Input was solicited from former editorial board members and editors and from others throughout mathematics education. We came to a recognition that doing something to reflect on the journal's journey over the past 25 years, while underscoring the scholarship that guides our work, would be a vehicle to help look ahead to the next 25 years.

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Thomas P. Carpenter, Terrence G. Coburn, Robert E. Reys and James W. Wilson

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted its first mathematics assessment during 1972–73, obtaining census data on 283 mathematics exercises and involving 9-year-olds, 13-year-olds, 17-year-olds, and young adults. Background information on NAEP and the mathematics assessment is abundantly available (see Merwin and Higgins, 1968; Foreman and Mehrens, 1971; Martin and Wilson, 1974; NAEP Newsletters). Selected results of the 1972–73 mathematics assessment have been discussed in a set of articles (Carpenter, Coburn, Reys, and Wilson, 1975a, 1975b).

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Jerry P. Becker, Edward A. Silver, Mary Grace Kantowski, Kenneth J. Travers and James W. Wilson

A U.S.–Japan Seminar on Mathematical Problem Solving was held at the East-West Center in Honolulu 14– 18 July 1986 (Becker and Miwa 1987). Among the seminar's proposals was that cross-cultural research on American and Japanese students' problem-solving behaviors be organized and carried out. The author were in Japan in the fall of 1988 to meet with their Japanese counterparts, plan research, and make visits to mathematics classrooms preliminary to conducting a two-year program of research. In addition to planning the research, we were on a fact-finding visit to classrooms to better acquaint ourselves with mathematics teaching and learning in Japan.

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O. Robert Brown, R. Ruel Morrison, Mary Ann Byrne, Thomas J. Cooney, Edward J. Davis, Michael L. Mahaffey, William D. McKillip and James W. Wilson Wilson

Interest in competency-based instruction has been evident at all levels of education. The Georgia Elementary Mathematics Teacher Education Project (GEMTEP) was designed to develop a “competencybased” training program in mathematics for inservice and preservice elementary teachers.