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The Success of Connected Mathematics

The work of the authors with professional development and curriculum leading up to the development of CMP is a critical element in its success. Additionally, the professional development and outreach activities carried out by the CMP authors and teachers, beginning with the publication of CMP1 in 1996, are also very important. The CMP office at MSU conducts annual week-long workshops and an annual two-day conference which bring approximately 400 – 500 teachers, administrators and teacher educators annually to the MSU campus. We collaborate with other universities and school districts to conduct similar conferences in their regions. Currently, we are working on leadership training models to accommodate the growing need for math coaches and teacher leaders in CMP schools. We maintain an extensive website and consult daily with teachers, administrators, teacher educators, researchers and parents about activities related to CMP.

Since its publication in 1996, a substantial number of research studies have been carried out in CMP classrooms. These studies have helped the field understand the conditions under which a problem-centered curriculum promotes students’ and teachers’ conceptual and procedural skills as well as their problem-solving and reasoning abilities. These studies also focused on aspects of CMP that have added important information to research on teacher knowledge, student understanding, and professional development. More details on the findings, visit CMP Research.

CMP has been recognized nationally as seen in the following awards:

  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999), in its review of twelve nationally available middle school mathematics curricula, ranked Connected Mathematics highest, stating that it “contains both in-depth mathematics content and excellent instructional support.”
  • Connected Mathematics was the only middle school mathematics curriculum awarded “exemplary” status by the U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Education Expert Panel (1999). Of the 61 elementary, middle school, and high school curricula submitted for review, only five received this exemplary status.
  • The ISDDE Award for Design in Education (2008) The International Society for Design and Development Award for excellence in the design of a product for learning science or mathematics. This award was given to Glenda Lappan and Elizabeth Phillips for their work with CMP.

The royalties’ due MSU and the MSU authors have created three endowment funds that have funded:

  • The Lappan, Phillips, Fitzgerald Endowed Chair of Mathematics Education
  • Lappan-Phillips Professorships in Mathematics and Science Education
  • The Phillips Distinguished Lectureship in the Department of Mathematics
  • Start-up research funds for young MSU faculty and graduate students in mathematics and science education at MSU
  • Support for PRIME doctoral program at Michigan State University
  • Support for AMTE’s STaR fellowships
  • Support for CMP activities including professional development, efficacy of CMP and research (See Arc of Learning, The Role of Student Work in Curriculum Materials, and Formative Assessment)