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IES Grant

Title: National Research & Development Center on Cognition and Mathematics Instruction
Center: NCER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Schneider, Steve Awardee: WestEd
Program: National Research and Development Centers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years Award Amount: $9,998,406
Goal: R&D Center Award Number: R305C100024

Topic: Cognition and Mathematics Instruction

Purpose: The National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction has a core goal of redesigning components of a widely-used middle school mathematics curriculum—Connected Mathematics Project (CMP), and evaluating the efficacy of the redesigned curriculum materials.

Bringing together leading experts in cognition, instruction, assessment, research design and measurement, mathematics education, and teacher professional development, the Center team will apply research-based design principles to revise mathematics curricular materials for the grade span of 6 to 8, when fundamental concepts required for algebra and advanced mathematics are addressed. The redesign will be based upon principles derived from experimental studies in classrooms and controlled laboratory settings to enhance the conditions of instruction and improve learning outcomes for students. The Math Center will conduct an integrated series of design studies; develop and test practical guidelines that will enable mathematics teachers, curriculum developers, and publishers to apply the design guidelines; as well as conduct supplementary studies on important issues in mathematics teaching and learning. The Math Center will first complete a series of controlled experiments (RCTs) aimed at examining the effects of revised curricular units with 50 participating teachers, and then a large-scale, school-level random assignment efficacy study to examine the effects of the redesigned CMP in 78 schools. The Math Center will also widely disseminate findings and provide leadership to the education field.

Established through a five-year, $10.0 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center on Cognition and Mathematics Instruction is housed at WestEd, and operated in collaboration with partners at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Temple University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Key Personnel: Steven Schneider, James Pellegrino, Ken Koedinger, Neil Heffernan, Julie Booth, Mitchell Nathan, Martha Alibali, Susan Goldman, Diane Briars, Shandy Hauk, Jodi Davenport, Kim Vivani

Center Website:

IES Program Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Albro
Telephone: (202) 219-2148

Publications from this project:

Booth, J.L., and Davenport, J.L. (2013). The Role of Problem Representation and Feature Knowledge in Algebraic Equation-Solving. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 32: 415–423.