**Purpose:** On the 2005 National Assessment of Education Progress mathematics assessment, 22 percent of students in grade 12 scored at or above "proficient." The importance of algebra is stressed on this assessment with the majority of the items (35 percent) being devoted to algebra. In addition, analysis of data from the National Assessment of Education Progress mathematics assessment showed that taking higher level mathematics courses beyond algebra (e.g., pre-calculus, calculus) was associated with students' higher mathematics scores. This project addresses the need for a curriculum focused on deepening students' understanding of core concepts within first- and second-year algebra, and connecting and sustaining the development of mathematical ideas across higher mathematics classes, such that foundations can be laid in Algebra 1 for material later studied in calculus.
**Project Activities:** The research team is refining and evaluating the potential impact of *SimCalc Connected Math Worlds* on student achievement. *SimCalc Connected Math Worlds* includes software and curriculum materials that address core mathematical ideas for first- and second-year high school algebra students. The research team will revise existing Algebra I course materials and develop new Algebra 2 course materials that integrate *SimCalc Connected Math Worlds* with a wireless TI Navigator network that allows teachers and students to have simultaneous access to student solutions, thus enabling teachers to provide immediate feedback to all students as they solve algebraic problems. The software and curriculum materials are designed to replace eight to 12 weeks of Algebra 1 materials, and eight weeks of Algebra 2 materials.
**Products:** Products from this project include software and curricula materials for first- and second-year high school algebra, and published reports on the potential impact of these curricula materials on student achievement in algebra.
Structured Abstract
**Purpose:** This project addresses the need for a curriculum focused on deepening students' understanding of core concepts within first- and second-year algebra, and connecting and sustaining the development of mathematical ideas across higher mathematics classes, such that foundations can be laid in Algebra 1 for material later studied in calculus.
**Setting:** The eight participating schools are located in Massachusetts.
**Population:** The population includes a large percentage of students from low-income families, and students with a wide range of abilities. The percentage of African American or Latino students varies from 2 percent to 37 percent.
**Intervention:** The *SimCalc Connected Math Worlds* curriculum is designed to combine software that allows students to see multiple representations of an algebraic function with wireless TI Navigator networks to address core mathematical ideas for first- and second-year high school algebra students. The software and curriculum materials are designed to replace eight to 12 weeks of Algebra 1 materials, and 8 weeks of Algebra 2 materials.
**Research Design and Methods:** The research team will refine previously developed Algebra 1 materials and develop new Algebra 2 curriculum materials. Then, they will evaluate the potential impact of the curriculum on student mathematics achievement. The research team will conduct a small-scale cluster randomized controlled trial with random assignment at the classroom level. Fifteen classrooms will be randomly assigned to use the *SimCalc Connected Math Worlds* algebra curriculum and 15 classrooms will be assigned to the control condition. The treatment interventions are being delivered in ninth- and 11th-grade classrooms. A subset of students is being tracked into the 10th and 12th grades.
**Control Condition:** Classrooms randomly assigned to the control condition will use the existing algebra curriculum.
**Key Measures:** The research team will use two outcome measures to assess students' mathematical ability and problem solving skills before and after each intervention. The first measure is a previously developed instrument comprised of standardized test items focusing on Algebra I. The second measure will be developed by the research team and will focus on Algebra 2.
**Data Analytic Strategy:** The research team is using mixed-hierarchical linear modeling and Analysis of Covariance statistical methods to assess student performance gain in the intervention group relative to the control group.
Publications
**Book chapter**
Dalton, S., & Hegedus, S. (2013). Learning and Participation in High School Classrooms. In S.J. Hegedus and J. Roschelle (Eds.), *The SimCalc Vision and Contributions: Democratizing Access to Important Mathematics* (pp. 145–166). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/978–94–007–5696–0_9
Hegedus, S., and Moreno-Armella, L. (2008). Analyzing the Impact of Dynamic Representations and Classroom Connectivity on Participation, Speech and Learning. In L. Radford, G. Schubring, and F. Seeger (Eds.), *Semiotics Education: Epistemology, Historicity and Culture*(pp. 175–194). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
**Journal article, monograph, or newsletter**
Hegedus, S. (2007). Classroom Connectivity: Increasing Participation and Understanding Inside the Classroom. *Educational Technology, 47*(3): 21–25.
Hegedus, S., and Penuel, W. (2008). Studying New Forms of Participation and Identity in Mathematics Classrooms With Integrated Communication and Representational Infrastructures. *Educational Studies in Mathematics, Issues of Design and Implementation, 68*(2): 171–183.
Hegedus, S., Tapper, J., Dalton, S., and Sloane, F. (2013). HLM in Cluster-Randomised Trials: Measuring Efficacy across Diverse Populations of Learners. *Research in Mathematics Education, 15*(2): 177–188.
Hegedus, S.J., and Moreno-Armella, L. (2011). The Emergence of Mathematical Structures. *Educational Studies in Mathematics, 77*(2): 369–388.
Hegedus, S.J., Dalton, S., and Tapper, J. R. (2015). The Impact of Technology-enhanced Curriculum on Learning Advanced Algebra in US High School Classrooms. *Educational Technology Research and Development, 63*(2): 203–228.
Hegedus, S.J., Tapper, J., and Dalton, S. (2016). Exploring how Teacher-related Factors Relate to Student Achievement in Learning Advanced Algebra in Technology-enhanced Classrooms. *Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 19*(1): 7–32.
Moreno-Armella, L., Hegedus, S., and Kaput J. (2008). Constitution of Symbols and the Evolution of the Reference Field With Digital Technologies. *Educational Studies in Mathematics: Democratizing Access to Mathematics Through Technology—Issues of Design and Implementation, 68*(2): 99–112.
**Nongovernment report, issue brief, or practice guide**
Brookstein, A., Hegedus, S., Dalton, S., Tapper, J, and Moniz, R. (2011). *Measuring Student Attitude in SimCalc Classrooms: Technical Report #4.*Fairhaven, MA: Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education, UMass Dartmouth.
**Proceeding**
Berube, B., Hegedus, S., Orrill, C., and Tapper, J. (2010). Does the Teacher Matter When Implementing a New Technology and Curriculum Program?. In *Proceedings of the 34th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 2* (pp. 209–216). Belo Horizonte, Brazil: PME. |