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Washington State is about to enter a new phase of the "math wars." Since the late 1980s, the debate over how best to teach mathematics to schoolchildren has raged worldwide among educators, politicians, and parents. The stakes are high. To operate effectively in a global, twenty-first-century economy and polity, the United states must provide an education in mathematics that is both excellent and equitable.
In this volume, four scholars at the Washington School Research Center (WSRC) at Seattle Pacific University present original research drawn from statistical studies of state educational data and from thousands of classroom observations carried out by The BERC Group. They assess the current state of math education and review its history and development. The authors also provide a dispassionate review of the extensive international, national, and state literature.
The in-depth observational research in Winning the Math Wars confirms that the real issue is neither the approach to teaching--traditional or reform--nor the type of curriculum. If America's goal of educational equity and excellence is to be achieved, then math teachers everywhere must be fully supported in developing the specific skills that are ideal for educating all students. The authors discussion focus on four principles for improving math teaching and learning: fidelity to reform efforts by all involved; an emphasis on instruction and instructional tools; the critical nature of mathematical knowledge; and the need for transformational change.
Winning the Math Wars is an important book for policy makers, school leaders, practitioners of mathematics education, parents, and anyone who wants to make sense of the "math wars."
Martin Abbott , Ph.D., is director of the WSRC and professor of sociology at Seattle Pacific University. He specializes in evaluation research and statistical analysis of large data sets. Duane Baker , Ed.D., is president of The BERC Group and an expert in assessment, classroom observation, and teaching reforms. Karen Smith , Ed.D., is winner of a presidential award in mathematics education and an experienced elementary math teacher, school administrator, and consultant to public schools. Thomas Trzyna , Ph.D., is a specialist in international education and a co-author of Toward a Global Ph.D.