Date of Conferral
Date of Award
Marilyn K. Simon
The need for change in the mathematics curricula in our public schools has been well documented (Kirwan, 1990; National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983; National Research Council, 1989; Overby, 1993). Testing surveys show low overall performance at every age throughout the K-12 levels. The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, (Standards) issued by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in 1989 are designed to move mathematics curricula forward to meet the needs of students for the future. The analysis of new curricular materials is essential in order to produce materials that meet recommended standards.
Migrant students represent one segment of the student population with deficiencies in mathematics training at the K-12 level. The Portable Assisted Study Sequence (P.A.S.S.) Program serves migrant students in 165 schools in California, and must provide materials which comply with the Standards. This study analyzed and compared this compliance in two mathematics courses written in 1989 and 1995 for P.A.S.S. An evaluative instrument was designed to measure the extent to which reform ideas in the Standards are represented in the curricular materials. Content analysis procedures were used to analyze the curricula with the assistance of Nud*Ist software. Research design for the instrument included procedures for content validation and interrater reliability. The results of this study showed the 1995 P.A.S.S curricular materials measurably improve upon the 1989 curricular materials with respect to the Standards. The evaluative instrument was found to effectively and reliably measure the extent to which curricular materials meet the Standards.
This study provides guidance and direction for teachers, students, curriculum developers, and future researchers at local, state, and national levels. Standards are a major component of education, and this study represents a pioneering effort to quantify the changes that can hopefully help our society meet these goals. This process can be replicated in other disciplines, which increases the potential for social change. Significant curricular reform will have significant social impact.