Series: Hear from the Experts

Learning Progressions in Math Go in Different Directions

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Phil Daro discusses some myths surrounding the idea of learning progressions in math. While many believe that students learn math on a straight-forward, linear path, they actually pull ideas from many different sources when completing a problem. The challenge for the teacher, then, is to take these students, all in different places, and help them reach the agreed-upon standards.

Let’s say you give a 6th-grade problem, and the kid responds at a 2nd-grade level. That doesn’t mean the kid’s at the 2nd-grade level. That means he’s making use of 2nd-grade ideas to make sense of the problem, which is a normal human response.

Phil Daro is a member of the team that developed the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. He is Site Director of the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) at the San Francisco Unified School District and has worked with the University of California in directing large-scale teacher professional development programs.

This presentation took place on August 12, 2014, as a part of the Summer P12 Mathematics Institute, an event put on by Chicago Public Schools, DePaul University, and Erikson Institute. The purpose of the event was to build and expand capacity to provide high quality mathematics instruction in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) in networks, schools, and classrooms.