Math In Special Education Essay

1065 words - 4 pages


There’s no denying that education is constantly changing, but what’s truly astounding is the difference that can be throughout the years in math. More is changing in math classrooms than the tools that are used. The expectations that 21st century students face are completely transforming the approach that’s being taken in classrooms across America. The United States wants to make sure its students are ready to compete on a global level, and teachers are stepping up to the plate. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has led the movement for education reform in mathematics.
The NCTM began in the mid-1970’s and was a public voice of mathematics education that supported teachers, and tried to ensure learning of the highest quality for all students. This council set in motion a much needed discussion and debate about math in America’s school system. The NCTM set criteria for excellence rather than singular prescriptions for implementing “new best ways” (Wilson). In the 1980’s the focus of mathematics shifted to more of a critical thinking basis. In 1989 the National council of Teachers of Mathematics released a groundbreaking document, the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (Burris 2012). This completely changed the standards for mathematics in schools. These standards advocate methods that emphasized mathematical power: conceptual understanding, problem solving, reasoning, connection building, communication, and self-confidence developing (Wilson). There were numerous changes, including 13 curriculum standards that were set to address both content and emphasis. One common theme to the NCTM Standards and to the recent changes in mathematics education is that “the study of mathematics should emphasize reasoning so that students can believe that mathematics makes sense” (Burris). This theme means that students should understand the reasoning behind math, not just drilled with problems. Students need to understand the reasoning behind the way math works, these standards put this into practice.
A second groundbreaking document released by the National Council of Teachers Mathematics was Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics. This set of standards “present[s] a vision of what teaching should entail to support the changes in curriculum set out in the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards. This document spells out what teachers need to know to teach toward new goals for mathematics education and how teaching should be evaluated for the purpose of improvement” (Burris). It was essential for this change because it changed how mathematics was taught. Teachers now had new goals and had different processes of evaluation, which in the end, resulted in a greater improvement for themselves, and also great academic achievement for students. “The NCTM followed with the 1995 release of Assessment Standards for Teaching Mathematics. NCTM produced this important document because new assessment...

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