Plenary Lecture 1:

Challenges and Issues in Designing and Developing a School Mathematics Curriculum over Contiguous Grade Levels - The Case of Connected Mathematics

Glenda Lappan, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Mathematics, and

Elizabeth Phillips,  Senior Academic Specialist, Division of Mathematics and Science Education, Michigan State University.

2008 Joint Winners of 2008 ISDDE Prize for Connected Mathematics.

29th September, 09.15-10.30

Designing curriculum materials that engage students in thinking and reasoning about “big” ideas in mathematics is challenging. However, “connecting” related “big” ideas to build materials for a grade level or multiple grade levels raises additional challenges. Effective multi-grade curricula have coherence: they build and connect from problem to problem, investigation to investigation, unit to unit, and grade to grade to grade. Such non-traditional materials require more supportive pedagogies to help teachers engage students. We will articulate key stances on learning and engagement that were played out in the CMP materials and examine the challenges, expected and unexpected, raised in such development work.

Biographical Notes

Glenda Lappan’s research and development interests are in the connected areas of students’ learning of mathematics and mathematics teacher professional development.  She has served as Program Director for Teacher Preparation at the National Science Foundation; President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Co-Director of  Connected Mathematics Project; Chair of the grades 5–8 development of NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics; Chair of NCTM Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics; on the National Education Research Policy and Priorities Board; Advisory Board for Education and Human Resources at NSF; Vice Chair of the Mathematical Science Education Board of the NRC; and Chair of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. She has received a University Distinguished Faculty Award from Michigan State University, the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Lifetime Achievement Award, the Association of Women in Mathematics Louise Hay Award in Mathematics Education, the Meritorious Faculty award from the MSU College of Natural Sciences at MSU, the George Eastman Medal for Excellence from the University of Rochester, the Glenn Gilbert Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Georgia, and, with her colleague Elizabeth Phillips, received the Outstanding Curriculum Design Award from the International Society for Design and Development in Education. 

Elizabeth Difanis (Betty) Phillips' on-going interests are in the teaching and learning of mathematics with a special interest in teaching and learning algebra. She conducts numerous workshops for teachers, gives speeches, and is a consultant on mathematics-education at the local, state, and national levels. She is the author of numerous papers and books. Most recently she is a co-author of The Connected Mathematics Project (CMP 1), a five-year NSF-funded project to write, test, and implement a complete mathematics curriculum for the middle grades (1991–1997) and CMP 2 which was also funded by NSF (2000-2006) to revise the CMP curriculum and to develop professional development materials to support the CMP curriculum. She is also a principal investigator for a NSF funded project, the Center to Study Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC 2004-2009). This is a partnership consisting of Michigan State University, The University of Missouri, and Western Michigan to promote leadership and research on all aspects of curriculum, in particular, as curriculum relates to student and teacher knowledge. She is a co- editor of an upcoming NCTM publication “The Best of the Middle School Addenda Series”. Her current work is developing professional development materials using classroom videos to support the implementation of CMP.