The research reported in this book provides reliable evidence on and knowledge about mathematics and science instruction that emphasizes student understanding--instruction consistent with the needs of students who will be citizens in an increasingly demanding technological world.
The National Center for Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science--established in 1996 as a research center and funded by the U.S. Department of Education--was instrumental in developing instructional practices supportive of high student achievement in and understanding of mathematics and science concepts. NCISLA researchers worked with teachers, students, and administrators to construct learning environments that exemplify current research and theory about effective learning of mathematics and science. The careful programs of research conducted examined how instructional content and design, assessment, professional development, and organizational support can be designed, implemented, and orchestrated to support the learning of all students. This book presents a summary of the concepts, findings, and conclusions of the Center's research from 1996-2001.
In the Introduction, the chapters in Understanding Mathematics and Science Matters are situated in terms of the reform movement in school mathematics and school science. Three thematically structured sections focus on, respectively, research directed toward what is involved when students learn mathematics and science with understanding; research on the role of teachers and the problems they face when attempting to teach their students mathematics and science with understanding; and a collaboration among some of the contributors to this volume to gather information about classroom assessment practices and organizational support for reform.
The goal of this book is to help educational practitioners, policymakers, and the general public to see the validity of the reform recommendations, understand the recommended guidelines, and to use these to transform teaching and learning of mathematics and science in U.S. classrooms.
"The interesting and provocative portion of the book consists of examples of students engaging in reasoned argument in science and mathematics classrooms at various educational levels and in diverse subjects, including algebraic reasoning in elementary school and statistical data analysis in middle school….this book will serve as an important legacy that will provide the impetus for further research and professional development to address the problems that have impeded pervasive reform in mathematics and science instruction."
Contents: Preface. Part I: Introduction. T.A. Romberg, T.P. Carpenter, J. Kwako, Standards-Based Reform and Teaching for Understanding. Part II: Learning With Understanding. R. Lehrer, L. Schauble, Developing Modeling and Argument in the Elementary Grades. A.S. Rosebery, B. Warren, C. Ballenger, A. Ogonowski, The Generative Potential of Students' Everyday Knowledge in Learning Science. T.P. Carpenter, L. Levi, P.W. Berman, M. Pligge, Developing Algebraic Reasoning in the Elementary School. J.J. Kaput, M.L. Blanton, A Teacher-Centered Approach to Algebrafying Elementary Mathematics. K. McCain, P. Cobb, K. Gravemeijer, Statistical Data Analysis: A Tool for Learning. J. Stewart, C. Passmore, J. Cartier, J. Rudolph, S. Donovan, Modeling for Understanding in Science Education. R. Nemirovsky, A. Barros, T. Noble, M. Schnepp, J. Solomon, Learning Mathematics in High School: Symbolic Places and Family Resemblances. Part III: Teaching for Understanding M. Franke, E. Kazemi, J. Shih, S. Biagetti, D. Battey, Changing Teachers' Professional Work in Mathematics: One School's Journey. D.C. Webb, T.A. Romberg, M.J. Ford, J. BurrillTeacher Collaboration: Focusing on Problems of Practice. W.G. Secada, T. Williams, Managing Uncertainty and Creating Technical Knowledge. Part IV: Cross-Cutting Studies. J. de Lange, T.A. Romberg, Research in Assessment Practices. A. Gamoran, Capacity for Change: Organizational Support for Teaching for Understanding.