Mathematics at the elementary and middle grades and the Common Core

School of Mathematics Colloquium
Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics, UGA
In this presentation I will show some of the surprising depth and complexity of elementary- and middle-grades mathematics, much of which has been revealed by detailed studies into how students think about mathematical ideas. In turn, research into students' thinking has led to the development of teaching-learning paths at the elementary grades, which are reflected in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. These teaching-learning paths are widely used in mathematically high-performing countries but are not well understood in this country. At the middle grades, ideas surrounding ratio and proportional relationships are critical and central to all STEM disciplines, but research is needed into how students and teachers can reason about these ideas. Although research in mathematics education is necessary, it is not sufficient for solving our educational problems. For the mathematics teaching profession to be strong, we need a system in which all of us who teach mathematics, at any level, take collective ownership of and responsibility for mathematics teaching.