Current Research Projects

In this section, we describe various research and curriculum projects to improve teaching and learning mathematics in CMP classrooms. We will continue to provide updates on progress and products as they occur.

Enhancing Students’ Capacity to Develop and Communicate Their Understanding Using Digital Inscriptional Resources

We are pleased to announce that a recent National Science Foundation DRK-12 collaborative proposal has been awarded to Michigan State University and the Concord Consortium. Funding for Collaborative Research: Enhancing Middle Grades Students’ Capacity to Develop and Communicate Their Mathematical Understanding of Big Ideas Using Digital Inscriptional Resources has been awarded to Principal Investigators (P.I.); Elizabeth Phillips, Alden Edson, Joseph Krajcik, and Kristen Bieda of MSU, along with Chad Dorsey of the Concord Consortium. Using the Connected Mathematics Project materials, the combined efforts of MSU and Concord Consortium aim to create a collaborative, digital environment to research students’ ability to communicate mathematical understanding. A major goal of project is to help students deepen and make visible their understanding of mathematics. We propose to support students to collaboratively construct, manipulate, and interpret shared representations of mathematics using digital inscriptional resources. To this end, the research activities will significantly enhance our understanding of student learning in mathematics in three important ways. We will report on how (1) evidence of student thinking is made visible through the use of digital inscriptional resources, (2) student inscriptions are registered, talked about, and manipulated in collaborative settings, and (3) students’ conceptual growth of big mathematical ideas grows over time. The total award of $2,997,801 will be used to facilitate the project from September 2016 to August 2020.

Arc of Learning Research Project

The Arc of Learning framework was designed to describe the development of mathematics understanding provided by a sequence of problems. This framework moves the learning focus beyond the analysis of isolated tasks to consider the role of a problem and its location in an instructional sequence for promoting mathematical learning.

Formative Assessment Research Project

Throughout a CMP lesson, teachers engage in three components of formative assessment, supported by current research and best practices in mathematics education. To address concerns about how to assess student learning during the enactment process, we have developed a set of resources to help mathematics teachers and instructional leaders make sense of formative assessment as an ongoing process in CMP lessons.

The Student Work in Curriculum Materials Research Project

The potential benefits of curricular examples of student work are largely unknown because most research related to student work has examined effects of student work for enhancing student learning and teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. The purpose of this project is to explore the use of student work found in curriculum materials and its potential for improving the teaching-learning environment.