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Topic: FYI -- Research on Everyday Mathematics
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
FYI -- Research on Everyday Mathematics
Posted: Feb 5, 2005 1:00 PM
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Information below is provided by Dr. Andy Isaacs
who has just done an update to a list of
peer-reviewed research about Everyday Mathematics
[EM], which is copied below. It's a bit long but
there is a lot of research about the program.
Anyone interested in Everyday Mathematics might
want to look at some of this research.
NOTE: Please contact the UCSMP Everyday
Mathematics Center at
with any questions or comments about this
research summary or visit the website at

Everyday Mathematics Research Summary
University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
February 4, 2005

The research evidence about Everyday Mathematics
(EM) almost all points in the same direction:
Children who use EM tend to learn more
mathematics and like it better than children who
use other programs. This finding has been
supported by research carried out by the
University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
(UCSMP), by independent researchers at other
universities, and by many school districts across
the nation. The absolute amount of this research
is large - the reports fill several large binders
- but, compared to what is available for other
curricula, it is enormous. As a recent report
from the National Academy of Sciences (NRC, 2004)
makes clear, no other currently available
elementary school mathematics program has been
subjected to so much scrutiny by so many
researchers. The agreement about the curriculum
across so many research studies is, itself,
perhaps the strongest evidence that EM is

One of the articles in this bibliography, the
chapter by Carroll and Isaacs in Standards-Based
School Mathematics Curriculum: What Are They?
What Do Students Learn? (2003), summarizes
research about EM before roughly 1998. Here we
briefly summarize some of the more important
studies that have been completed since then. Note
that all but one of these studies has appeared in
a peer-reviewed journal; the one that has not
(Sconiers, Isaacs, Higgins, McBride, & Kelso,
2003) is currently under review at the Journal
for Research in Mathematics Education.

Please contact the UCSMP Everyday Mathematics
Center at with any
questions or comments about this research summary
or visit our website at

National Research Council. (2004). On evaluating
curricular effectiveness: Judging the quality of
K-12 mathematics evaluations. Committee for a
Review of the Evaluation Data on the
Effectiveness of NSF-Supported and Commercially
Generated Mathematics Curriculum Materials.
Confrey, J. & Stohl, V. (Eds.), Mathematics
Science Education Board, Center for Education,
Division of Behavioral and Social Science and
Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies


Carroll, W. M. (2001). Students in a
Standards-based mathematics curriculum:
Performance on the 1999 Illinois State
Achievement Test. Illinois Mathematics Teacher,
52(1), 3-7.

* This paper reports a study of the performance
of Chicago-area EM students on the 1999 Illinois
Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The study
compared 12,880 third-grade EM students and
11,213 fifth-grade EM students with 47,742
third-grade non-EM students and 50,023
fifth-grade non-EM students.
* The study found that EM students significantly
outperformed comparison students, even after
controlling for all other significant variables
such as percent low-income and per-pupil
* The study also found that, "the differences
favoring the EM curriculum were largest in
schools with a higher percentage of low-income
students" (p. 5).

Riordan, J. E., & Noyce, P. E. (2001). The impact
of two standards-based mathematics curricula on
student achievement in Massachusetts. Journal for
Research in Mathematics Education, 32(4), 368-398.

* This paper reports results of a
quasi-experimental study of the performance of
fourth grade EM and eight grade Connected
Mathematics students on the 1999 Massachusetts
state test. The study included the entire
population of EM students. "Results attest to the
effect of these curriculum programs as actually
implemented under ordinary prevailing conditions
in unselected schools, without regard to whether
the programs were implemented optimally" (p. 390).
* 67 EM schools were included, 48 of which had
implemented the program for four or more years.
Comparison schools were chosen to match the EM
schools on math scores from the year before the
introduction of EM and the percentage of
low-income students.
* The results "indicate that Everyday
Mathematics schools outperformed comparison
schools in all question types and all reporting
categories, except that there was no difference
in statistics for early implementers and in
geometry for later implementers" (p. 389).
* "The positive impact of the standards-based
programs on student performance was remarkably
consistent across students of different gender,
race, and economic status. Students at the top,
bottom, and middle of their classes all did
better with the standards-based programs than did
their counterparts using traditional programs.

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