CMP Students' Positive Attitudes Toward Mathematics Persist through High School!

  • May 2, 2018
  • Top news
 

In a recently published longitudinal study in a highly respected mathematics education journal, educational researchers followed middle school students in a large urban area through high school. The middle schools used the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) curriculum or a traditional mathematics curriculum.  In the 12th grade, “Significantly greater percentages of CMP students than traditional students had a relational Vision of mathematics as opposed to an instrumental Vision; …”

The researchers go on to state that

  • The "differences exist even though, in the interim between middle school and 12th grade, approximately equal-sized groups of CMP and non-CMP students shared schools, mathematics classrooms, teachers, lessons, and mathematics curricula."
  • “These CMP students tended to be more independent learners who were willing to rely on themselves and other students in lieu of their teacher. Such independence is aligned with the launch−explore−discuss sequence of learning activities that support CMP-style instruction. Similar to the CMP students, we hypothesize that non-CMP students’ beliefs reflect the type of instruction they received in middle school using traditional curricula.”
  • “We found that of the students who expressed distaste for mathematics, only half of the CMP students but all of the non-CMP students did so because they thought it was difficult. The remaining half of the CMP students who expressed distaste for mathematics did so because they thought it was boring. “
  • “Despite the limitations, the findings of this study provide an appealing case that the type of curriculum that students experience in middle school may affect their attitudes toward mathematics and mathematics instruction for a prolonged period of time.”

For more information: Moyer, J. C., Robison, V., & Cai, J. (2018). Attitudes of high-school students taught using traditional and reform mathematics curricula in middle school: A retrospective analysis. Educational Studies in Mathematics, Online First, 1-20.