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All Published Research and Evaluation on CMP

A large body of literature exists that focuses on or is related to the Connected Mathematics Project. Here, you will find articles on CMP that we have compiled over the past thirty years. These include research, evaluation and descriptions from books, book chapters, dissertations, research articles, reports, conference proceedings, and essays. Some of the topics are:

  • student learning in CMP classrooms
  • teacher's knowledge in CMP classrooms
  • CMP classrooms as research sites
  • implementation strategies of CMP
  • longitudinal effects of CMP in high school math classes
  • students algebraic understanding
  • student proportional reasoning
  • student achievement
  • student conceptual and procedural reasoning and understanding
  • professional development and teacher collaboration
  • comparative studies on different aspects of mathematics curricula
  • the CMP philosophy and design, development, field testing and evaluation process for CMP

This list is based on thorough reviews of the literature and updated periodically. Many of these readings are available online or through your local library system. A good start is to paste the title of the publication into your search engine. Please contact us if you have a suggestion for a reading that is not on the list, or if you need assistance locating a reading.


Adams, R. L. (2005). Standards-based accountability: Improving achievement for all students through standards based mathematics instruction. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International, 66(6). (ProQuest ID No. 932378841)

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to conduct evaluation research on the professional development intervention implemented to address the effectiveness of standards-based instruction in improving the mathematic achievement of all student subgroups in Yolo County schools. The question addressed in this study was "Does standards-based instruction in mathematics, coupled with professional development on the standards-based content of California State Board of Education-approved text books, lead to increases in student achievement and high school graduation rates for all subgroups in Yolo County schools?"

The Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) university partnership designed the professional development intervention for teachers delivering math at grade levels 5th through algebra I. Twelve teachers (treatment group) participated in 40-hour institutes; follow-up sessions, and data gathering to measure the effectiveness of the training and support. Ten teachers (control group) recruited as 2005 institute participants simultaneously gathered like data.

Twelve schools participated in the study. The teacher index ranges from 0.00 teachers trained in standards-based mathematics instruction to 0.50 with a mean of 0.19 indicating that the schools hadn't implemented school-wide professional development.

There was a significant difference between the treatment group scores on the post-survey and the control group scores (p = .011) (effect size > 1.0). The treatment group results indicate that the treatment group's beliefs on standards based instruction shifted significantly into the high-reform range after the intervention.

Curriculum calibration indicates that the use of the textbook as the main teaching resource did not ensure that the instruction was on grade-level over 75% of the time. The control group used the textbook as the main teaching resource 30% of the time compared to 55% by the treatment group, yet taught on grade-level more often then the treatment group.

The implications of this program evaluation point to continued organizational improvement through reducing gaps in: content knowledge, motivation, and organization support. Based on the research cited, and the practical implications from the intervention piloted in the Yolo County schools, the county partnership must continue to build systems of support that embrace standards-based mathematic instruction.

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Arbaugh, F., Lannin, J., Jones, D. L., & Park Rogers, M. (2006). Examining instructional practices in Core-Plus lessons: Implications for professional development. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 9(6), 517-550.

ABSTRACT: In the research reported in this article, we sought to understand the instructional practices of 26 secondary teachers from one district who use a problems-based mathematics textbook series (Core-Plus). Further, we wanted to examine beliefs that may be associated with their instructional practices. After analyzing data from classroom observations, our findings indicated that the teachers’ instructional practices fell along a wide continuum of lesson implementation. Analysis of interview data suggested that teachers’ beliefs with regard to students’ ability to do mathematics were associated with their level of lesson implementation. Teachers also differed, by level of instructional practices, in their beliefs about appropriateness of the textbook series for all students. Results strongly support the need for professional development for teachers implementing a problems-based, reform mathematics curriculum. Further, findings indicate that the professional development be designed to meet the diverse nature of teacher needs.

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Ball, D. L. (1996). Teacher learning and the mathematics reforms: What we think we know and what we need to learn. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(7), 500-508.

ABSTRACT: In order to improve mathematics education, a close examination of assumptions about teacher learning and the teaching of mathematics must be made. Teachers and others participating in the reform process will have to learn many new ideas and unlearn many previous assumptions.

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Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Weiss, I. R., Malzahn, K. A., Campbell, K. M., & Weis, A. M. (2013). Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research, Inc.

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Bay, J. M., Beem, J. K., Reys, R. E., Papick, I., & Barnes, D. E. (1999). Student reactions to standards-based math-ematics curricula: The interplay between curriculum, teachers, and students. School Science and Mathematics, 99(4), 182–188.

ABSTRACT: As standards-based mathematics curricula are used to guide learning, it is important to capture not just data on achievement but data on the way in which students respond to and interact in a standards-based instructional setting. In this study, sixth and seventh graders reacted through letters to using one of two standards-based curriculum projects ("Connected Mathematics Project or Six Through Eight Mathematics. Letters were analyzed by class, by teacher, and by curriculum project. Findings suggest that across classrooms students were positive toward applications, hands-on activities, and working collaboratively. The level of students’ enthusiasm for the new curricula varied much from class to class, further documenting the critical role teachers play in influencing students’ perceptions of their mathematics learning experiences. The results illustrate that, while these curricula contain rich materials and hold much promise, especially in terms of their activities and applications, their success with students is dependent on the teacher.

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Lambdin, D., & Preston, R. (1995). Caricatures in innovation: Teacher adaptation to an investigation-oriented middle school mathematics curriculum. Journal of Teacher Education, 46(2), 130-40.

ABSTRACT: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has released guidelines on educational reform in the development of mathematical curriculum, teaching methods and assessment. Some teachers were able to adapt to change without much problems, while others exercised a more cautious disposition to change. Reactions to teaching recommendations were conditioned by course content, instruction method, environmental factors and teacher's desire for a problem-free school day.

Liu, Y. (2014). Teachers’ in-the-moment noticing of students’ mathematical thinking: A case study of two teachers. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to access teachers’ in-the-moment noticing of students’ mathematical thinking, in the context of teaching a unit from a reform-based mathematics curriculum, i.e., Covering and Surrounding from Connected Mathematics Project. The focus of the study is to investigate the following research questions:

How and to what extent do teachers notice students’ mathematical thinking in the midst of instruction?

How and to what extent does teachers’ in-the-moment noticing of students’ mathematical thinking influence teachers’ instruction?

Conceptualized as a set of interrelated components in this study, the construct of teachers’ in-the-moment noticing of students’ mathematical thinking includes attending to students’ strategies, interpreting students’ understandings, deciding how to respond on the basis of students’ understandings, and responding in certain ways.

A review of literature reveals that much of the research on teacher noticing does not examine teacher noticing as it occurs in the midst of instruction. Rather, it involves asking teachers to analyze and reflect on videos outside the context and pressure of in-the-moment instruction. Thus, in order to access teachers’ in-the-moment noticing in a more explicit and direct way, the researcher in this study applied a new technology to explore teacher noticing, enabling two teacher participants to capture their noticing through their own perspectives while teaching in real time.

Findings indicate that teacher participants noticed for a variety of reasons, including student thinking, instructional adaptations, assessment, content, and student characteristics, focusing primarily on student thinking and instructional adaptations. Furthermore, these participants noticed student thinking in the midst of instruction to different extents, and made adjustments to instruction in different ways.

Examination of the data also suggests that teachers’ noticing of student thinking was shaped by teachers’ beliefs, knowledge, and goals. Therefore, influenced by these constructs, teachers noticed student thinking to different extents, influencing students’ opportunities to think mathematically in different ways. A diagram that illustrates the paths through which teachers traveled in the process of noticing is presented, as one of the findings.

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Rickard, A. (1993). Teachers’ use of a problem-solving oriented sixth-grade mathematics unit: Two case studies. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International, 54 (10), (ProQuest Id No. 745239291)

ABSTRACT: Problem solving is a central issue in current reform initiatives in mathematics education. However, while curriculum developers design problem-solving oriented curricula to help move reforms into K-12 mathematics classrooms, little is known about how teachers actually use problem-solving oriented mathematics curricula to teach.

This study investigates how two sixth-grade mathematics teachers used a problem-solving oriented unit on perimeter and area. A four-dimensional framework is developed and employed to explore how each teacher's knowledge, views, and beliefs shaped her use of the unit. Using data collected through interviews, classroom observations, conversations with teachers and their students, samples of students' work, teachers' lesson plans, and the unit on perimeter and area, two case studies are presented to portray how each teacher used the unit in her classroom.

This study shows that each teacher's use of the unit was consistent with her underlying views and beliefs, and with some aspects of the intentions of the curriculum developers who designed the unit. However, other aspects of the teachers' use of the unit varied from the intentions of the curriculum developers. This study shows further that each teacher's use of the unit was shaped by interplay between her own views, beliefs, and knowledge, and the unit. Therefore, both the perimeter and area unit and the teachers shaped the teaching which occurred in their classrooms.

This study suggests that while problem-solving oriented curriculum can play a role in shaping mathematics teaching, the views, beliefs, and knowledge of teachers should be addressed in curriculum. This study also points to issues for future research that are connected to teachers' use of problem-solving oriented curricula.

Spielman, L. J., & Lloyd, G. M. (2004). The impact of enacted mathematics curriculum models on prospective elementary teachers’ course perceptions and beliefs. School Science and Mathematics, 104(1), 32-44.

ABSTRACT: This paper communicates the impact of prospective teachers' learning of mathematics using novel curriculum materials in an innovative classroom setting. Two sections of a mathematics content course for prospective elementary teachers used different text materials and instructional approaches. The primary mathematical authorities were the instructor and text in the textbook section and the prospective teachers in the curriculum materials section. After one semester, teachers in the curriculum materials section (n= 34) placed significantly more importance on classroom group work and discussions, less on instructor lecture and explanation, and less on textbooks having practice problems, examples, and explanations. They valued student exploration over practice. In the textbook section (n= 19), there was little change in the teachers' beliefs, in which practice was valued over exploration. These results highlight the positive impact of experiences with innovative curriculum materials on prospective elementary teachers' beliefs about mathematics instruction.

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