Reflecting On The 20th Annual Getting To Know CMP Workshops

  • Jun 30, 2015

Enhancing mathematics education instruction for middle school students was the focus at the annual Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) summer workshops held June 22 to 26 at Michigan State University (MSU). CMP is a problem-centered curriculum developed at MSU that promotes an inquiry-based teaching and learning classroom environment. Important mathematical ideas are identified and embedded in a sequenced set of problems that allow students to develop rich mathematical understandings and meaningful skills.

“The emphasis on thinking and reasoning, on making sense of 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,” explained Elizabeth Phillips, co-author of the curriculum. “Such a model promotes a different form of classroom interaction than has historically been used within mathematics instruction. Teaching mathematics through a sequence of connected problems in an inquiry-based classroom is a major shift for most teachers, as many did not learn mathematics in this way.”

To guide classroom discussions, according to Phillips, senior academic specialist in the MSU Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME), teachers need a broader and deeper understanding of mathematics, as well as knowledge of a variety of pedagogical strategies.

Phillips and Glenda Lappan, MSU University Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, along with the late MSU mathematics professor William Fitzgerald, James Fey from the University of Maryland and Susan Friel from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, developed CMP with funding from the National Science Foundation. The curriculum is now used in all 50 states and several international schools. The third edition of the curriculum, called CMP3, was published in fall 2013.

This year was the 20th annual Getting to Know CMP Workshops and the 8th Annual Leadership Summer Workshop. This year’s workshops had participants from 28 states and three foreign countries.

When asked about their time spent at the workshops, participants said “Awesome. Learned a lot from the presenters.”

“This was a great experience for a new teacher like me. Everyone was very welcoming, and the material that I learned was very useful. I am excited to teach using this program!”

Photographs from the workshops are avialable.

For more information on the Connected Mathematics Project, visit http://dev7.natsci.msu.edu.