There is widespread agreement that theories of teaching, learning, and assessment should be consistent with a certain theory of learning, whether it be constructivism or some other theory. This paper describes the creation and development of the working draft of the assessment standards for school mathematics published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Examination of this document shows that, although constructivism may be the current buzzword in mathematics education, those leading the effort to reform mathematics instruction are not necessarily aligned with that theory. It is further argued that, while consistency may be a laudable goal, it may not be a practical one. As a document, the Assessment Standards is neither constructivist or nonconstructivist. The draft was written by 22 different people in 3 working groups, and, as such, represents a compromise. (Contains 19 references.) (SLD)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; Reform Efforts
1 - Available on microfiche
National Center for Research in Mathematical Sciences Education, Madison, WI.