Focal points

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An approach (used by the NCTM) that focuses on a small number of significant mathematical 'targets' for each grade level offers a way of thinking about what is important in school mathematics that is different from commonly accepted notions of goals, standards, objectives, or learning expectations.

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These more conventional structures tend to result in lists of very specific items grouped under general headings. By contrast, Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics offers more than headings for long lists, providing instead descriptions of the most significant mathematical concepts and skills at each grade level. Organizing a curriculum around these described focal points, with a clear emphasis on the processes that Principles and Standards addresses in the Process Standards-communication, reasoning, representation, connections, and, particularly, problem solving-can provide students with a connected, coherent, ever expanding body of mathematical knowledge and ways of thinking. Such a comprehensive mathematics experience can prepare students for whatever career or professional path they may choose as well as equip them to solve many problems that they will face in the future.

Deze benadering maakte in de USA een discussie los over wiskundeonderwijs die soms ook wel verwezen wordt onder de naam Math War.

De NCTM gebruikt (najaar 2006) enkele ingezonden brieven bij diverse kranten om een toelichting te geven op de Focal points. Na deze ontwikkeling zien we vanaf 2008 de ontwikkeling van Common Core State Standards


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