ERIC Identifier: ED321973
Publication Date: 1989-00-00
Author: Howe, Robert W. - Suydam, Marilyn N.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science Mathematics and Environmental
Education Columbus OH.
Sources of Information about Promising and Exemplary
Programs and Materials for Elementary School Mathematics. ERIC/SMEAC Mathematics
Education Digest No. 1.
Many school staff and their client communities are concerned about pupil
achievement, skills, and attitudes related to mathematics. To respond to
these concerns, staff need to determine how they can improve their mathematics
programs by modifying the content and skills emphasized in the curriculum,
changing or supplementing instructional materials, and changing instructional
approaches, and changing the use of technology.
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MATHEMATICS PROGRAM?
There are several publications available to use to determine what a
mathematics program should include. Several states including Florida, California,
Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin have produced state guides or frameworks
suggesting what should be included in a good elementary school mathematics
program. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has developed
Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (1989) that reflect a vision of what
a mathematics program should be. Suggestions for implementing the standards
In addition to the state and national frameworks and standards, several
of the curriculum development projects, such as the University of Chicago
School Mathematics Project, have developed frameworks and descriptions
of their programs that can serve as sources of ideas.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE THAT HAVE BEEN EVALUATED FOR THEIR IMPACT
ON STUDENT PERFORMANCE? THE NATIONAL DIFFUSION NETWORK (NDN)
The NDN provides funds to disseminate exemplary programs and materials.
Before a program can be included in the NDN program, it must be approved
by a review group, the Program Effectiveness Panel. A program requesting
a review must provide evaluation data that indicate the program was effective
in the school in which it was developed or field tested and that it could
be used successfully in other schools.
Programs or materials that are judged effective are summarized in the
Department of Education publication "Education Programs That Work" (Education
Programs..., 1988); updated editions are produced periodically. Elementary
school mathematics programs in the most recent edition include: Astra's
Magic Math, a program for kindergarten students; Classmate 88 Mathematics
Computational Skills Program, a program to improve the basic mathematical
computational skills of economically disadvantaged children; Comprehensive
School Mathematics Program, grades K-6; Cross-Aged Structured Tutoring
Program for Math, grades 2-8; Diagnostic Prescriptive Arithmetic, grades
3-5; First Level Mathematics (KINDER MATH), kindergarten or grade 1; HOSTS
Math, for remedial math grades 2-6; Individualized Prescriptive Arithmetic
Skills System, grades 5 and 6, Systematic Teaching and Measuring Mathematics,
grades K-8; Success Understanding Mathematics, grades 2-6; TEAM Accelerated
Mathematics, grades 3-6; Title I Mathematics Computer Assisted Instruction,
grades 3-6; and Mathematics Achievement Program, grades 2-5.
THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)
The National Science Foundation is providing support for the development
of several elementary and middle school programs. All materials developed
go through trials with pupils before they are released for use by schools.
Among the projects being supported are the following: (1) Development of
a Logo-based Elementary School Geometry Curriculum, Kent State University,
Kent, OH; (2) Used Numbers: Collecting and Analyzing Real Data, Technical
Education Research Centers, Cambridge, MA; (3) Reckoning with Mathematics:
Tools and Challenges for the Information Age, Educational Development Center,
Newton, MA; (4) Calculators and Mathematics Project-- Los Angeles (CAMP-LA),
California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, CA; (5) K-6 Supplementary
Mathematics Materials for a Technological Society, New York University,
New York, NY; and (6) A Revision of the Geometry and Measurement Strands,
K-6, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
WHAT ARE OTHER SOURCES OF PROGRAMS AND MATERIALS WITH EVALUATION
The Educational Products Information Exchange (EPIE) is a non-profit
organization that reviews and evaluates educational materials. EPIE produces
a newsletter and special publications that include evaluation information
on a variety of curriculum materials including mathematics. A listing of
EPIE materials can be obtained by writing to EPIE.
Some of the Regional Educational Laboratories sponsored by the U.S.
Department of Education produce and/or review mathematics materials. The
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, for example, reviews and evaluates
computer software, including those related to mathematics. They publish
the results of their reviews on a regular basis.
States such as New York and Pennsylvania produce mathematics materials
for schools that have had extensive evaluation. Some states such as California
and Texas publish reviews of textbooks.
The ERIC database contains materials, descriptions of programs, and
evaluation data related to many programs.
WHAT ARE OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT PROMISING PROGRAMS AND
Some programs and materials have been found to be effective for improving
learning, but have not been reviewed on a formal basis by an outside organization
or agency. Based on their use and reported results, they are considered
promising programs and materials and worthy of consideration by others.
The COSMOS Corporation (White, 1986) worked with the National Council
of Teachers of Mathematics and other groups to identify programs and materials
that were considered effective. The catalog published in 1986 contains
more than 40 descriptions of programs, materials, and practices for elementary
school mathematics. Programs and materials described include content modifications,
use of technology (computers, calculators), mastery programs, problem-solving
activities, use of manipulatives, cooperative learning,and supplemental
The Title II program of the Education for Economic Security Act has
supported the development of many promising programs and materials. A recent
document published by the United States Department of Education contains
over 80 project summaries from projects funded in 39 states and the District
of Columbia. (Exemplary Projects. Mathematics-Science..., 1988). Included
are several elementary school mathematics projects.
Elementary school mathematics programs and materials are also being
developed with funds from the U.S. Department of Education Eisenhower Act.
The Abstracts of the 1989 and 1988 Awards: Dwight D. Eisenhower Mathematics
and Science National Programs (Levinson, 1989) include 14 elementary programs
with mathematics components.
There are a variety of programs and materials available that make use
of new technology. Software has been and is being developed for elementary
school programs. Integrated learning systems have been developed for elementary
school mathematics. Distance learning programs (including the STAR School
Project) also include materials for elementary school mathematics education.
Linking for Learning (1989) and Online: Computers in Education (1989) describe
The ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education
(ERIC/SMEAC) has contacted (1) state, county, and local coordinators and
curriculum specialists for mathematics and (2) federal program staff for
nominations of programs and materials they consider promising and exemplary.
In addition, association programs, newsletters, journals, and materials
received at ERIC/SMEAC have been reviewed for programs and materials. From
these sources, possible programs and materials are being identified and
schools and projects involved with these activities are being contacted
to obtain information about the programs and materials and actual materials
when available. A description of a selection of the programs and materials
related to elementary school mathematics will be published in 1990.
ERIC/SMEAC plans to produce supplements to the 1990 publication when
additional programs and materials are identified. Nominations for programs
and materials should be sent to ERIC/SMEAC.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD WAYS TO BEGIN?
Some sources of information and publications that include programs and
materials described in this digest are listed. In addition, you should
contact your state coordinator or specialist in mathematics education;
many states have started reform activities and you should determine what
your state and schools in your state are doing and resources that are available.
SELECTED INFORMATION SOURCES
National Science Foundation Division of Materials Development
Research and Informal Science Education
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20550
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
101 Southwest Main Street
Portland, OR 97204
National Diffusion Network
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208-1525
P.O. Box 839
Water Mill, NY 11976
Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, VA, 1989.
Directory of Awards. Fiscal Year 1987 and 1988. National Science Foundation,
Washington, DC, 1989. ED 309 026.
Driscoll, Mark. Stories of Excellence, Ten Case Studies from A Study
of Exemplary Mathematics Programs. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics,
Reston, VA, 1987.
Education Programs That Work: A Collection of Proven Exemplary Educational
Programs and Practices. Edition 14. Sopris West Incorporated, Longmont,
CO, 1988. ED 296 984.
Exemplary Projects. Mathematics-Science, Computer Learning and Foreign
Languages. A Collection of Projects Funded through Title II of the Education
for Economic Security Act. Department of Education, Washington, DC, 1988.
ED 302 390.
Levinson, Luna Lambert, Ed. Abstracts of the 1989 and 1988 Awards: Dwight
D. Eisenhower Mathematics and Science National Programs. Office of Educational
Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC,
1989. SE 051 024.
Linking for Learning. Office of Technology Assessment, Washington, DC,
Mathematics Education Programs That Work. A Collection of Proven Exemplary
Educational Programs and Practices in the National Diffusion Network. Office
of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education,
Washington, DC, September, 1989.
Online: Computers in Education. What's Happening? What's Possible? Jostens
Learning Corporation, San Diego, CA, 1989.
Ralph, John and M. Christine Dwyer. Making the Case. Evidence of Program
Effectiveness in Schools and Classrooms. Criteria and Guidelines for the
U.S. Department of Education's Program Effectiveness Panel. Office of Educational
Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC,
November, 1988. ED 306 706.
White, J, Lynne, ed. Catalog of Practices in Science and Mathematics
Education. COSMOS Corp, Washington, DC, 1986.