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Topic: [ME] Paper on California Math Just Published
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ME] Paper on California Math Just Published
Posted: Jul 16, 2000 7:57 PM
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For your information ...

The paper " 'Research Based' Mathematics Education Policy: The Case
of California 1995-1998"

by Bill Jacob and Joan Akers

has just been published in the first issue of the International
Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning [IJMTL]. You may
download the paper from the IJMTL web page by first going to

and then clicking on "International Journal for Mathematics Teaching
and Learning" (IJMTL), followed by clicking on 'Research Based'
Education Policy .

Here is the abstract of the paper.

Abstract. In December 1998, the California State Board of Education adopted a
new Mathematics Framework. The state had adopted Mathematics Standards the
previous year and the legislature appropriated one billion dollars for new
standards-based instructional materials. The forward of the new Framework
claims it provides "research-based information about how children learn". The
research described in the Framework supports an extreme (and expensive) shift
in state policies on instructional materials, classroom instruction,
development and assessment. In this article the authors examine the history
and content of the Framework's research base. Since the State Board adopted
the Framework with such enthusiasm it is important for the research community
to understand why. In part this was due to a public perception of a need for
more "basics". But a major reason is that prominent mathematicians authored
key Framework sections and then endorsed the instructional strategies outlined
by the psychologists who assembled the research. The Framework was supposed
to present a balanced program including basic skills, conceptual understanding
and problem solving. This paper takes a close look at the mathematician and
psychologist authors views of each. The analysis reveals that although many
of their ideas about mathematics teaching and learning are
incompatible, overall
their positions were combined in a way to mutually reinforce each other.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618) 453-4244
Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office)
(618) 457-8903 (home)


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