Understanding the Original NCTM Standards
They're Not Genuine Math Standards
"It's not the things we don't know that get
It's the things we do know that ain't so." - Will
On April 12, 2000 the NCTM released Principles
and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM), a 402 page
of the NCTM Standards. Please see Understanding the Revised NCTM Standards
The 258 page (original) NCTM Standards, from the National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics, have achieved the status of defacto national
standards, heavily influencing the development K-12 math standards at
state level. In this three-part analysis these "math standards" are
analyzed as "standards", then for their characterization of "math"
for the K-12 years, and finally from the perspective of NCTM's
for "learning math".
Chapter 1 outlines the traditional
philosophy of K-12 math education. This is background information to
the reader before encountering the sharply contrasting "progressive"
of the NCTM.
Chapter 2 begins with a checklist for
the quality of a proposed set of math standards. Then the NCTM
are evaluated as "math standards". This chapter concludes by listing
benefits of genuine K-12 math standards, with a separate listing for
added benefits of national math standards.
Chapters 3 uses quotes from the NCTM
to analyze "what" content the NCTM says should be learned under the
"math" during the K-12 years.
Chapters 4 uses quotes from the NCTM
to analyze the NCTM's philosophy of "why" and "how" kids should learn
the NCTM calls "math".
William G. Quirk, Ph.D.