The Columbia Education Center designs and conducts teacher training, curriculum development, dissemination, and networking projects, with a special focus on:
- Small-town and rural schools - Gifted and talented youth - Science, mathematics, and technology - Women and the physically handicapped - International/intercultural education - Constitutional studies
On its site the CEC offers over 600 lesson plans created by teachers for use in their own classrooms, organized by area (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Miscellaneous) and level (K-5, 6-8, 9-12).
A vigorous discussion of mathematics reform that touches on classroom "perversions of the Standards," "misinterpretations of constructivism," and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and includes many print and Web references.
"...I get back some really chilling tales from my student teachers. For instance, one of them told me that at the high school where she did her student teaching, there was one teacher who said that she was a big supporter of the NCTM Standards, and that she used cooperative learning extensively in her classroom. What my student came to find out was that 'cooperative' learning consisted of the following: students read the book and work (cooperatively) on the problems, and the teacher reads the newspaper at her desk." - Mark Snyder
"The problems you bring forth are real, but hardly new. And they have nothing to do with reform... I had enough good teachers who... inspired me to want to know more. And I see that same sort of teacher in the schools I visit today - teachers who care about kids and love mathematics. The 'scary stories' may be fun, but there are lots of teachers who are working hard to do the best they can for their students." - W. Gary Martin
"Regarding the recurrent assertion that: '...constructivism is a theory of learning, not of teaching...' is there a constructivist Greek lurking within the educational walls of Troy that might explain how it is that the gift of a large wooden horse (theory of learning) does not contain a platoon of educators ready with a plan (theory of teaching) to sack the city-state of 'traditional' education?" - Richard W. Wilson
"The last thing we need is a 'belief' or a 'vision' for education. What we need is a plan with quantifiable objectives. My criticism of the NCTM standards is largely that it is a 'vision' with no quantifiable objectives and no plan to meet them." - Charles J. Masenas
"Belief in constructivism does not logically lead to a particular method of teaching. It does suggest that some things which are prevalent in education may be running counter to the way many people learn.... It is an unfortunate mistake to think that teachers or mathematicians can eschew philosophy or that philosophers can ignore mathematics..." - Michael Paul Goldenberg