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"Core-Plus Mathematics" is a four-year curriculum that replaces the traditional sequence with courses that each feature interwoven strands of algebra and functions, statistics and probability, geometry and trigonometry, and discrete mathematics. The first three courses in the series provide a common core of broadly useful mathematics, while the fourth continues the preparation of students for college mathematics and statistics courses. The curriculum emphasizes mathematical modeling, using technology to emphasize reasoning with multiple representations (verbal, numerical, graphical, and symbolic) and to focus on goals in which mathematical thinking and problem solving are central. Instructional materials promote active learning and teaching centered around collaborative small-group investigations of problem situations, followed by teacher-led whole-class summarizing activities that lead to analysis, abstraction, and further application of underlying mathematical ideas. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviewed 17 studies on "Core-Plus Mathematics" for high school students. One of these studies meets WWC evidence standards with reservations; the remaining 16 studies do not meet either WWC evidence standards or eligibility screens. Based on the one study, the WWC found potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for high school students. The conclusions presented in this report may change as new research emerges. Appendices include: (1) Study characteristics: Schoen & Hirsch, 2002; (2) Outcome measures for the mathematics achievement domain; (3) Summary of study findings included in the rating for the mathematics achievement domain; (4) Summary of subgroup findings for the mathematics achievement domain; (5) "Core-Plus Mathematics" rating for the mathematics achievement domain; and (6) Extent of evidence by domain. (Contains 6 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Educational Research, Instructional Effectiveness, Secondary School Mathematics, Core Curriculum, College Preparation, Mathematics Achievement, High School Students

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Autor: What Works Clearinghouse


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