# The First Report of the Commission on Post

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The First Report of the Commission on Post

QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. This resource was developed by CSMC faculty and doctoral students with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0333879. The opinions and information provided do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. 3-6-05 1 Committees and Reports that Have Influenced the Changing Mathematics Curriculum This set of PowerPoint slides is one of a series of resources produced by the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum. These materials are provided to facilitate greater understanding of mathematics curriculum change and permission is granted for their educational use. Commission on Post-War Plans First Report • 1944, Second Report • 1945 Guidance Report • 1947 http://www.mathcurriculumcenter.org QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. 2 Commission on Post-War Plans Appointed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Board of Directors February 25, 1944 Reports published in The Mathematics Teacher First Report: May, 1944 Second Report: May, 1945 Guidance Report: November, 1947 3 Need for Improvement • World War II revealed marked deficiencies in the mathematical preparation of inductees. • Many problems related to school mathematics detailed in pre-war reports had been largely ignored due to the ongoing war. • A new type of utilitarianism that focused on vocational preparation for the majority of students threatened the discipline-based unified school mathematics curriculum. 4 Members of the Commission on Post-War Plans: First Report Raleigh Schorling (Chair) University High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan William Betz Specialist in Mathematics, Rochester Public Schools, New York Eugenie C. Hausle James Monroe High School, Bronx, New York Rolland R. Smith Coordinator of Mathematics, Springfield Public Schools, Massachusetts F. Lynwood Wren Wren George Peabody College for Teachers 5 The First Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans Report offered five tentative proposals aimed at the improvement of secondary school mathematics. Proposal 1: The school should ensure mathematical literacy to all who can possibly achieve it. Mathematical literacy was seen as important as the ability to communicate, and that the function of mathematics was largely identical with that of reading and writing. 6 The First Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans Proposal 2: We should differentiate on the basis of needs, without stigmatizing any group, and we should provide new and better courses for a high fraction of the schools’ population whose mathematical needs are not well met in the traditional sequential courses. A three-track program to be differentiated according to students’ needs was proposed: sequential mathematics, related mathematics, and social mathematics. 7 The First Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans Proposal 3: We need a completely new approach to the problem of the so called slow learning student. A different curriculum and a laboratory or workshop setting for slow learners was suggested. Proposal 4: The teaching of arithmetic can be and should be improved. More time spent on arithmetic in the early grades as well as better-trained teachers and continued attention to arithmetic in later grades was proposed. 8 The First Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans Proposal 5: The sequential courses should be greatly improved. Improvement of the sequential mathematics track by providing better trained teachers, updating materials that include a wide variety of applications, and appropriately placing students in the correct courses was recommended. 9 Members of the Commission on Post-War Plans: Second Report Raleigh Schorling Chairman, University High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan William Betz Specialist in Mathematics, Rochester Public Schools, New York Eugenie C. Hausle James Monroe High School, Bronx, New York Rolland Smith Coordinator of Mathematics, Springfield Public Schools, Massachusetts F. Lynwood Wren George Peabody College for Teachers William A. Brownell Duke University Virgil S. Mallory State Teachers College, Montclair, New Jersey Mary Potter Supervisor of Mathematics, Racine, Wisconsin William L. Schaaf Brooklyn College Ruth Sumner President, Mathematics Section, State Teachers Association, Oakland, California James H. Zant Oklahoma State University of Agriculture and Applied Science 10 The Second Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans • Focused on improvement of mathematics instruction from elementary school through junior college as well as teacher education. • Offered a series of 34 theses covering grades 1-14 that were to serve as “tentative guides.” • The first thesis was intended for all grades: “the school should guarantee functional competence in mathematics to all who can possibly achieve it.” 28 different mathematical topics to be included in a “core mathematics curriculum” were identified. 11 Seven Theses for Grades 1-6 • Discard the idea of arithmetic as a mere tool subject. • Conceive of arithmetic as having both a mathematical and social aim. • Give more emphasis and attention to the development of meanings. • Abandon the idea that arithmetic can be taught incidentally or informally. • Realize that readiness for learning arithmetical ideas and skills is the product of relevant experience, not the effect of becoming older. • Learn to administer drill (repetitive practice) much more wisely. • Comprehensively evaluate learning in arithmetic. 12 Three Theses for Grades 7-8 • Make the mathematical program of grades 7 and 8 the same for all normal pupils, providing: — An adequate, organic continuation of work from grades 1-6. — A substantial beginning in achieving functional competence. — A dependable foundation for subsequent courses in mathematics. • Build the mathematics for grades 7 and 8 around a few broad categories. — Number and computation; geometry of everyday life; graphic representation; elementary algebra. • Organize the mathematics program of grades 7 and 8 to enable the pupils to achieve mathematical maturity and power. 13 Two Theses for Grade 9 • Provide a double track in mathematics in grade 9: algebra for some and general mathematics for the rest. — Enrollment based on ability and long-term goals. — Teachers warned not to degrade those who enroll in the general mathematics course. • Evaluate algebra in terms of good practice. 14 Seven Theses for Grades 10-12 • Reserve the sequential courses for students who have the ability, the desire, or the need for such work. • Emphasize functional competence in the traditional sequential courses. • Develop mathematical power in the sequential courses. • Organize each year into a few large units built around key concepts and fundamental principles. • Include simple and sensible applications in the sequential courses. • Provide for the population whose mathematical needs are not well met in the traditional sequential courses. • Provide a better program in mathematics in small high schools. 15 Three Theses for Junior Colleges • Offer at least one year of mathematics which is general in appeal, flexible in purpose, challenging in content and functional in service. • Provide for a one-year pre-vocational course in mathematics. • Make ample provision for the student with a major interest in mathematics. 16 Two Theses for Education of Teachers of Mathematics in Grades 16 • Demonstrate competence over the whole range of subject matter which may be taught. — Competence assured by making a “satisfactory score on an acceptable examination.” • Have special course work in content and pedagogy, including: — Theory and background of elementary mathematics; important applications, supplementary instructional equipment, methods of teaching, student teaching, procedures for comprehensive evaluations; and research literature. 17 Seven Theses for Education of Teachers of Mathematics in Grades 912 • Have a wide background in the subjects he may teach. • Have a sound background in related fields. • Have adequate training in the teaching of mathematics, including arithmetic. • Have professionalized courses in mathematics. • Acquire a background of experience in practical fields where mathematics is used. • Have a college minor in mathematics as a minimum to teach in a small high school. • Have continuous education (for teachers in service). 18 Two Theses for the Use of Multi-sensory Aids in Mathematics Teaching • Give careful consideration to the possibilities of multisensory aids, including: — Motion pictures, film strips and slides, graphic charts and pictures, models and other equipment, and recordings. • Be given competent guidance in the production, selection, and the use of slide films. 19 Members of the Commission on Post-War Plans: Guidance Report Raleigh Schorling, chair, University of Michigan William Betz, Rochester, New York Public Schools William A. Brownell, Duke University Walter H. Carnahan, Purdue University Eugenie C. Huasle, New York City Public Schools Virgil S. Mallory, Montclair Teachers College C. V. Newsom, Oberlin College Mary Potter, Racine, Wisconsin Public Schools H. Vernon Price, University High School, Iowa City, Iowa William L. Schaaf, Brooklyn College Rolland R. Smith, Springfield MA, Public Schools Ruth Sumner, Oakland, CA Public Schools F. Lynwood Wren, George Peabody College for Teachers James Zant, Oklahoma A & M College 20 Guidance Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans • Spoke directly to high school students, guidance counselors, parents and administrators. • Sought to counsel students regarding high school courses and career choices describing occupations in which mathematics is important. • Informed students of both the kind of mathematics used in certain careers and the mathematics required to prepare for that career. • Sought to help students answer the question “Why should I study mathematics?” 21 Guidance Report Checklist • Report contained a checklist of 29 key concepts that identified how much and what kinds of mathematics are a “must” for every citizen in everyday life. The list included: — Computation: Can you add, subtract, multiply, and divide effectively with whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals? — Estimating: Before you perform a computation, do you estimate the result for the purpose of checking your answer? — Statistics: Can you use average (mean, median, mode)? Can you draw and interpret a graph? — Metric system: Do you know how to use the most important metric units? 22 Guidance Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans Report was organized into sections based on use of mathematics: • Mathematics for Personal Use • Mathematics used by Trained Workers • Mathematics for College Preparation • Mathematics for Professional Workers • Women in Mathematics • Mathematics used by Civil Service Workers 23 Significance of the Commission Reports on Post-War Plans • Provided recommendations for different grade levels, including a core mathematics curriculum and checklist of mathematical competencies expected of every citizen. • Urged special attention to slow learners and stronger teacher preparation and in-service development. • Proposed a different mathematics curriculum for secondary schools (sequential, related, and social) depending on students needs. • The recommendations failed to move a reform agenda forward even though the educational and social atmosphere was ripe for change. 24 References Osborne, R. A., & Crosswhite, F. J. (1970). A history of mathematics education in the United States and Canada (pp. 243-246). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Commission on Post-War Plans of the NCTM First Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans. (1944, May). Mathematics Teacher, pp. 225-232. Second Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans. (1945, May). Mathematics Teacher, pp. 195-221. Guidance Report of the Commission on Post-War Plans. (1947, November). Mathematics Teacher, pp. 315-339. 25