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Rice University School Mathematics Project

Philosophy of Curriculum and Instruction

estimation picThe extensive array of programs offered by RUSMP is unified through a common philosophy of curriculum and instruction. This philosophy is summarized in RUSMP's teaching goals and is enacted through RUSMP curricula and the RUSMP Learning Plan.

RUSMP's Teaching Goals:

  • Develop important mathematical concepts and knowledge for teaching;  
  • Emphasize student thinking, reasoning, creativity, and problem solving;  
  • Link mathematics with the real world and other disciplines, in particular, science;  
  • Promote connections among mathematical ideas;  
    Integrate manipulatives and technology; 
  • Foster discovery and collaborative group activities; and  
  • Enhance and transcend traditional classroom mathematics with a rigorous learning environment.

RUSMP has developed a curriculum framework that supports the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ mathematical content standards of number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability and the process standards of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, representation, and connections. Through rigorous mathematics instruction, RUSMP promotes decision making, reflection, reasoning, and problem solving. Using the Learning Plan template, RUSMP participants develop curricular materials that include academic activities that are engaging, meaningful, and worthwhile.

            When you teach the right things the right way, motivation takes care of itself.
            If students aren’t enjoying learning, something is wrong with your curriculum
            and instruction – you have somehow turned an inherently enjoyable activity
            into drudgery.
(Brophy, 1998, p. 1)