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Kenneth J. Travers
342 Armory Bldg.
Voice: (217) 333 7324
Fax: (217) 333 2605
ktravers@uiuc.edu
Course website:
www.mste.uiuc.edu/courses/
Curriculum and Instruction 430
Problems and Trends in Mathematics Education
This course surveys current problems, issues and trends in mathematics education in an era of reform. There are these main parts to the course:
 An overview of the literature in mathematics education reform, both in terms of research and practice, in learning, teaching and curriculum
 Identification of key issues in reform, as they emerge from 1)
 In response to 1) and 2), the development of a piece of curriculum for the ‘Illinois Virtual School’. There are on the web various 'virtual schools'. See, for example, http://vhs.concord.org/home.htm .
 The preparation of three ‘white papers’, one on each of learning, teaching and curriculum, respectively.
 Participation in a ‘book club’ wherein you will select one wellknown book that has to do with education, broadly defined. A report on your book is due by midsemester.
 The development of your own home page. The idea is that your home page provides not only information about you as a person, but it gives ideas and insights about you as an emerging mathematics educator.
Please note: technology is not specifically mentioned in any of the above. That is because it is assumed that the influence of technology will permeate the work of each. Your materials, however, should make the roles of technology explicit.
 Portfolio of work. Throughout this course, you will be asked to put together a portfolio of your work. Much (nearly all) of this work will be in electronic form, so plan now how you will organize and present it. As a final, summarizing activity, at the last class meeting, you will be asked to prepare an essay that provides an overview of your work, and of your ideas about teaching and learning as they have evolved in this course.
These main resources will be used:
 Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
 Mathematics Teacher
 Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning
 World Wide Web
 NCTM Professional Standards for School Mathematics 2000
www.nctm.org
 Illinois Learning Standards
http://www.isbe.state.il.us/ils
 Fitzsimmons, et al. Eds. Teacher Enhancement for Elementary and Secondary Science and Mathematics: Status, Issues and Problems. National Science Foundation, 1992. (I will provide in photocopy.)
Curriculum Project
This is a two phase process: (1) You and your Book Club team (see below) are to draft an entire curriculum for the grade level to which you are assigned. This is a rather general statement, taking into account major recommendations for that grade level of the NCTM PSSM (Professional Standards for School Mathematics). (2) You individually are to develop a four week (approximately) curriculum module that takes into account the major issues and trends developed in this course. This assignment, as all others, is to be webbased.
White papers
A white paper is a position, or a policy statement that summarizes the goals, rationale and content of each of the three themes (learning, teaching, curriculum). Due dates given below.
The basic structure of the white paper is:
 Statement of problem (or issue or theme )
 Development of problem
 Summarizing comments.
 Bibliography (at least 4 citations, using APA format)
It is difficult to specify a length for the paper. It need not be lengthy, but should be long enough to adequately deal with the issue at hand. About 3 to 4 pages (600800 words) should do it.
Each of your white papers should make at least one explicit reference, in turn, to
a) at least one of these resource documents:
NCTM Standards; Illinois Learning Standards
b) at least one of these documents:
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Handbook for Research on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics, NSF report (chapters)
c) at least one of these:
Mathematics Teacher, or some other journal dedicated to the teaching of mathematics
d) the book that you are reviewing for Book Club
Book Club
The purpose of this activity is to acquaint you with one well known book outside of mathematics education and relate its major ‘story line’ with the themes of this course.
Three books have been ordered through the bookstores: Katz; Holt; Kozol. It is not required that you select one of these books, but these are excellent candidates for you to consider.
There will be five teams in the book club, organized roughly by the grade level of interest of the class members. These teams will be formed during the first two weeks of class. Each team is expected to meet on its own, read the selected book, discuss it, and prepare a report (to be outlined later).
Grading policy:
I have not yet decided whether there will be a final exam. So for the time being, each of the five components referred to above will be weighted as follows for the final grade:

% 
Curriculum project 
20 
White papers (3 @ 10 ea.) 
30 
Book club 
20 
Home page 
5 
Portfolio 
15 
Misc. 
10 
Course schedule: subject to change:
August 30: Attend talk by Dr. Sunley, NSF.
Wednesday, August 30 at 4 PM
245 Altgeld Hall (might be changed, watch for announcement).
We will then meet afterwards to discuss her talk. Your assignment: What did her talk have to say about: (1) mathematics learning; (2) mathematics teaching; (3) mathematics curriculum.
Other agenda for August 30
 Introductions
 MSTE Website: www.mste.uiuc.edu
 Visit the class project for CI 430, spring 1999, on the Whitehead Learning Center at:
http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/courses/ci430sp99/default.html
 International studies of mathematics achievement.
http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/presentations/timss/sims/
 NSF Report readings (handouts):
Peterson (Chapter Six)
Mestre (Chapter Three)
 Whitehead. Aims of Education.
 Create an MS Word document that tells about yourself. Then drag and drop this document into the folder that has been prepared for you at the course website.
The message about you should include:
Your full name, home address and phone number
Name of your school, phone number, and best hours (if any) to reach you
Your degree program (if any) at UIUC
Your highest degree; where received
Field of specialization for that degree (e.g. teaching of secondary school mathematics)
 Write a brief reaction to the Whitehead Center.
September 6
 International studies
 Issues in learning
 Outline of WP I: learning
September 13
 Learning
 Early ideas on curriculum project
September 20
 Ann Brown, on learning
 Early progress report from Book Clubs
September 27
 White Paper I is due
 Teaching
NSF Report: Shavelson (Chapter 5)
Cooney (Chapter 8)
 Book Clubs report
October 4
 Progress report on curriculum project
 Research on teaching
October 11
 WP II is due
October 25
 Curriculum
 NSF Report: Romberg (Chapter 7)
November 1
 Models for curriculum implementation
 NSFfunded curriculum projects
November 8
 WP III is due
November 15
 Progress report on Curriculum Project
November 29
 Final presentations
