Research & Development
Everyday Mathematics is a research-based curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. UCSMP was founded in 1983 during a time of growing consensus that our nation was failing to provide its students with an adequate mathematical education. The goal of this on-going project is to significantly improve the mathematics curriculum and instruction for all school children in the U.S.
Development of Everyday Mathematics began with a research phase. During this phase, the authors of the curriculum reviewed a rich body of existing research on children's mathematical thinking and on curriculum and instruction. They also interviewed hundreds of K-3 children and surveyed instructional practices in other countries. Based on their findings, the authors established several basic principles that have guided the development of Everyday Mathematics. These principles are:
acquire knowledge and skills, and develop an understanding of
mathematics from their own experience. Mathematics is more meaningful
when it is rooted in real life contexts and situations, and when
children are given the opportunity to become actively involved in
learning. Teachers and other adults play a very important role in
providing children with rich and meaningful mathematical experiences.
begin school with more mathematical knowledge and intuition than
previously believed. A K-6 curriculum should build on this intuitive and
concrete foundation, gradually helping children gain an understanding
of the abstract and symbolic.
- Teachers, and their ability to provide excellent instruction, are the key factors in the success of any program. Previous efforts to reform mathematics instruction failed because they did not adequately consider the working lives of teachers.
With these principles in mind, the Everyday Mathematics author team began developing the curriculum. Starting with kindergarten, Everyday Mathematics was developed one grade level at a time. Each grade level went through a three-year development cycle that included one year of writing, a year of extensive field testing in a cross section of actual classrooms, and a year of revising before final publication. All seven grade levels were written by the same core of authors, in collaboration with a team of mathematicians, education specialists and classroom teachers. This unique development process has resulted in a comprehensive K-6 curriculum that provides a consistent high quality, and a sequence of instruction that carefully builds upon and extends the knowledge and skills of the previous year.
Everyday Mathematics is the mathematics curriculum model for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It is the elementary curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) and serves as the strong base for the secondary mathematics program. Funding from the Amoco Corporation, GTE Corporation, and the National Science Foundation has supported the research, development, and field-testing in schools across America.
Everyday Mathematics covers a broad range of mathematics content, not just numbers and arithmetic. Every strand within the program is addressed at an age and grade-appropriate level every year, with major concepts presented five different times (and often in different ways) over two-year spans. This instructional strategy is referred to as the "two-five rule." The program attends to following strands beginning in kindergarten.
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- Students acquire knowledge and skills, and develop an understanding of mathematics from their own experience. Mathematics is more meaningful when it is rooted in real life contexts and situations, and when children are given the opportunity to become actively involved in learning. Teachers and other adults play a very important role in providing children with rich and meaningful mathematical experiences.