Understanding Reform: A Study of the Standards Movement in Mathematics Education
AuthorHathaway Turner, Arias Storm
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis explores the historical and ongoing efforts to reform mathematics education in the United States. The goal of this study is to understand the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), or Common Core, in the context of the greater standards movement first initiated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). A common theme throughout this study is the complexity of reform and the tensions that exist when implementing change. To understand issues facing reform efforts, I contextualize the ongoing standards movement by summarizing historical factors that contributed to the development and reception of standards in education. This history began with societal changes that led to standardization of different social institutions and continues with an ongoing standards movement in education. To carry out this study, I relied on literary sources as well as on the insights of three individuals that had unique experiences with the standards movement. With this context, I discuss the Common Core movement and greater challenges facing reform in mathematics education. The main finding I present in this study is that controversy surrounding national standards is likely to persist as long as there is a tension between standardization and local control of education.
Degree ProgramGraduate College