WASHINGTON—The changing nature of the field of mathematics has spawned efforts to alter the way math is taught in elementary and secondary school classrooms.

The National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, working with educators and policy-makers, have launched long-term projects to reform curricula, tests and textbooks. A key ingredient is expanded use of calculators and computers in the classroom. Last fall the National Science Foundation awarded $5 million in grants to university and private researchers to develop curricula and materials that incorporate calculators in elementary school math instruction.

"Mathematics, as a discipline, is changing rapidly because of computers," noted Marcia Sward, executive director of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, established by the National Academy in the fall of 1985 to study reforms in school mathematics. The board, made up of researchers, classroom teachers, legislators and business leaders, hopes to develop a framework for...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!