ERIC Number: ED413347
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Will New Teaching Standards Be Implemented If Old Tests Are the Yardstick for Success?
Mayer, Daniel P.
As almost every state revises its mathematics frameworks or develops new ones, current testing practices remain almost unchanged. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), in its "Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics," argues for greater emphasis on application, reasoning, and conceptual understanding, but the "Standards" authors recognized that a discontinuity exists between standardized tests and their view of mathematics teaching. The implications of this mismatch may be that the "Standards" are never really implemented. This study examines whether students taught in NCTM-like classrooms perform differently on standardized assessments than students taught in traditional classrooms. The question is addressed in the context of eighth-grade algebra classrooms using students from the second cohort of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth for the 1988-89 school year. The analytic sample consists of 325 students and 37 teachers from 34 schools. A teacher survey determined whether teachers used an active teaching approach of the sort advocated by the "Standards." Algebra achievement was measured through test items from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) taken in eighth and ninth grades. The study finds that the more emphasis a teacher places on class discussion and small group work relative to lecture and seatwork, the less students gain on their NAEP examinations over 1 year. This negative association is not accounted for by teacher or student background characteristics. Results highlight the mismatch between the sort of teaching increasingly advocated and performance on current types of standardized tests. (Contains 2 figures, 4 tables, and 61 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: College Entrance Examination Board, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress