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Core-Plus Mathematics: Contemporary Mathematics in Context
Core-Plus Mathematics is a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop student and teacher materials for a complete three-year high school mathematics curriculum for all students, plus a fourth-year course continuing the preparation of students for college mathematics. The Contemporary Mathematics in Context curriculum builds upon the theme of mathematics as sense-making. Throughout it acknowledges, values, and extends the informal knowledge of data, shape, change, and chance that students bring to situations and problems.

Each year Contemporary Mathematics in Context features strands of algebra and functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics. These strands are connected within and across units by fundamental ideas such as symmetry, function, matrices, data analysis and curve-fitting. The strands also are connected across units by mathematical habits of mind such as visual thinking, recursive thinking, searching for and describing patterns, making and checking conjectures, reasoning with multiple representations, inventing mathematics, and providing convincing arguments. The strands are linked further by the fundamental themes of data, representation, shape, and change. Important mathematical ideas are continually revisited through these connections so that students can develop a robust understanding of mathematics. Numerical, graphics, and programming/link capabilities of graphics calculators are being capitalized on to enable students to develop versatile ways of dealing with realistic situations. The curriculum is designed to make more mathematics accessible to more students, while at the same time challenging the most able students.

Differences in student performance and interest can be accommodated by the depth and level of abstraction to which topics are pursued, by the nature and degree of difficulty of applications, and by providing opportunities for student choice of homework tasks and projects. Instructional practices promote mathematical thinking through the use of rich problem situations that involve students, both in collaborative groups and individually, in investigating, conjecturing, verifying, applying, evaluating, and communicating mathematical ideas. Comprehensive assessment of student understanding and progress through both curriculum-embedded assessment opportunities and supplementary assessment tasks enables monitoring and evaluation of each student's performance in terms of mathematical processes, content, and dispositions.

For more information about the program and its implementation, contact:

Beth Ritsema
Department of Mathematics
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Fax: 269-387-4546
Core-Plus Mathematics

For more information on the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum and how to order material, contact:

P.O. Box 508
Columbus, OH 43216

Additional Core-Plus Mathematics Resources:  

Outline of Curriculum
Examples of Curriculum
Evaluation Data
Implementation Data & Sites
Teacher Support & Resources
Parent Support

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Last revision 08/13/07