Andrea Wood, M.Ed.
All students have the right to receive instruction in mathematical content necessary to be productive members of a changing society. The expectation is that all students can and will learn mathematics. The curriculum should be designed to promote mathematical competence for all rather than to serve as a filter to identify an "elite" group of students who are allowed to study higher levels of mathematics.
The goals of mathematics instruction are to provide experiences that enable all students to:
gain confidence in the mathematical ability
become mathematical problem solvers
recognize mathematical connections
Students must be involved in the development of their own understanding of mathematical concepts as opposed to a reliance upon the traditional emphasis on rules and procedures. Societal and technological changes in recent years have placed stronger demands upon mathematics. This necessitates reconsideration of mathematics education. No longer are computational skills alone adequate indicators of mathematical achievements. Students must develop proficiency in problem solving, logical reasoning, higher-order thinking skills, and effective communication. Learning to solve real life problems is the principal reason for studying mathematics. Students must develop fundamental skills that enable them to apply their knowledge to new situations and that will enable them to continue that process of learning throughout life.
Manipulative materials should be used to introduce and reinforce concepts. Appropriate calculators should be available to all students. An understanding of operations and a knowledge of basic facts are as important as ever, but all students should be taught how and when to use a calculator.
Assessment should include a variety of techniques including, but not limited to, traditional paper-and pencil testing. Assessment should focus on the process as well as the results.