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Constructivist Fuzzy Math vs. Direct Instruction Traditional Math

An interesting research paper that came out comparing a constructivist math program (Invitation to Mathematics) against a Direct Instruction math program (Connecting Math Concepts).

Essentially 2 classroom teachers taught one or the other programs. This research, in my opinion, had some advantages for the constructivist math. The teacher had taught programs like it for 11 years. The other teacher attended a 4 hour workshop on how to teach the Direct Instruction program that she had never taught. In fact, she had never taught a scripted program that required students to answer in unison. Her teaching sounded pretty sub par but nevertheless, she persisted.

It turns out that in standardized tests, both tested about the same with a slight lead in DI. What was interesting was the other tests that were designed for each of the curriculum. Both tests were given to both classes. You would think that the test designed for the constructivist program would result in lower scores for the Direct Instruction students. No. In fact, the DI students out performed the constructivist students on both curriculum based test by a wide margin.

Some discussion and further review of the study can be found here: