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Published September 4, 2018

Integrating history into a K–12 mathematics curriculum

Mathematics curriculum revision can improve learning

Ji-Won Son, associate professor from the Department of Learning and Instruction, is partnering with the Christian Central Academy in Williamsville to develop and implement a history-infused mathematics curriculum in K–12 classrooms and analyze the effects of the curriculum. The collaboration is part of the UB Graduate School of Education Faculty in Residence Program, and is funded by a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 7–12 Classroom Research Grant.

“When students understand the historical development of a concept, it is much easier to understand that concept,” said Son. “However, at present, the history of mathematics does not have a formal place in United States K–12 classrooms.”

To address this need, Son is working with Winston Martey, a mathematics teacher at Christian Central Academy, to co-develop and co-teach a set of history-embedded mathematics lessons. After the lessons, Son and Martey will collaborate to analyze student data to understand the effects of the curriculum.

The Faculty in Residence Program is an initiative designed to engage GSE faculty and local community-based educational institutions in site-based, mutually beneficial research-based projects. Projects must demonstrate clear benefits to the community and may include a wide-range of researchable topics.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) 7–12 Classroom Research Grants support and encourage classroom-based research in precollege mathematics education in collaboration with college or university mathematics educators. NCTM is the world's largest mathematics education organization.

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