The Strengthening Tomorrow’s Education in Measurement (STEM) Project aims to assist educators (classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, curriculum developers, and assessment professionals) in enriching students’ classroom experiences and learning about the measurement of space (length, area, and volume). Currently, too many students learn measurement poorly and this hurts their understanding and progress in both mathematics and science. One central project task is to assess the capacity of current elementary mathematics written curriculum materials. We have explored this question by investigating three representative elementary mathematics curricula: Scott-Foresman/Addison Wesley’s Mathematics (Michigan edition), Everyday Mathematics, and Saxon Math to support robust student learning. We have also completed some more cursory investigations of other elementary and middle school curriculum materials. Thus far, we have focused on elementary curriculum materials because measurement of all three spatial quantities (length, area, and volume) is introduced and developed in the elementary years. Understanding the limitations of current curricula helps us help teachers see how they can enrich their teaching and work with students.
Our work is supported with funding from the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings at the National Science Foundation (grants #0634043 and #0909745). The Foundation has recently published a short article on the work of the project that provides another introduction to goals and work. [link to "Understanding Basic Concepts in Spatial Measurement"]
- Scott-Foresman/Addison Wesley’s Michigan Mathematics (Pearson Education, 2008)
- University of Chicago School Mathematics Project's Everyday Mathematics (Wright-McGraw-Hill, 2007)
- Saxon Math (Saxon Publishers, 2004)
From the analysis of current written curriculum materials:
From our work with practicing teachers and instructional leaders:
The STEM project has been supported with two sequential grants from the National Science Foundation's REESE program—REC #0634043 and DRL #0909745. This support is evidence of the Foundation's commitment to improving the teaching and learning of measurement in our nation's schools. The views expressed at this site, and in the project's oral and other written presentations do not necessarily reflect those of the Foundation.