Co-developed with Teachers and Students
Developing a curriculum with a complex set of interrelated goals takes time and input from many people. As authors, our work was based on a set of deep commitments we had to creating a more powerful way to engage students in making sense of mathematics. Our Advisory Boards took an active role in reading and critiquing Units in their various iterations. In order to enact our development principles, we found that three full years of field trials in schools for each development phase were essential.
This feedback from teachers and students across the country is the key element in the success of the CMP materials. The final materials comprised the ideas that stood the test of time in classrooms across the country. Nearly 200 teachers in 15 trial sites around the country (and their thousands of students) are a significant part of the team of professionals that made these materials happen. The interactions between teacher and students with the materials became the most compelling parts of the teacher support.
Without these teachers and their willingness to use materials that were never perfect in their first versions, CMP would have been a set of ideas that lived in the brains and imaginations of the author team. Instead, they are materials with the classroom at heart because our trial teachers and students made them so. We believe that such materials have the potential to dramatically change what students know and are able to do in mathematical situations. The emphasis on thinking and reasoning, on making sense of ideas, on making students responsible for both having and explaining their ideas, and on developing sound mathematical habits provides opportunities for students to learn in ways that can change how they think of themselves as learners of mathematics.
From the authors’ perspectives, our hope has always been to develop materials that play out deeply held beliefs and firmly grounded theories about what mathematics is important for students to learn and how they should learn it. We hope that we have been a part of helping to challenge and change the curriculum landscape of our country. Our students are worth the effort.