Research and Resources that Informed the Development of the Curriculum

The development of Investigations in Number, Data, and Space was informed by an extensive body of research on the teaching and learning of mathematics. Researchers in several content areas collaborated directly with the Investigations team during the 25-year process of development and revision of the curriculum. These included: Douglas Clements and Michael Battista (geometry); Jan Mokros, Cliff Konold, and Andee Rubin (data); Ricardo Nemirovsky, Cornelia Tierney, and Tracy Noble (mathematics of change); and Deborah Schifter and Virginia Bastable (early algebra, the mathematical practices).

The curriculum was also influenced by important national publications such as The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 1989), Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2001), Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics (NRC, 2001), The Mathematical Education of Teachers (CBMS, 2002), and The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (2010).

Research was also conducted as part of the development process. Extensive field-testing involved documentation of thousands of hours in classrooms, observations of students, input from teachers, and analysis of student work. The field test not only provided information about how well the curriculum was working in real classrooms, but also led to new understandings of children’s learning.

The development of work on early algebra in the 2nd edition is an example of the generative nature of the development process. As development began, we looked to policy publications and research literature focused on algebraic ideas K-12 (e.g., Ball & Bass, 2003; Blanton & Kaput, 2003; Carpenter et al., 2003; Moses & Cobb, 2002; NCTM, 2000; Schifter, 1999). With this foundation, we developed and tested a wide range of activities focused on early algebraic ideas in field-test classrooms. Based on observations of those activities in action, and on input from our collaborating teachers, activities were refined, expanded, sometimes moved to different grade levels, and tested again. This process of writing, observing, and rewriting resulted in the student curriculum and professional development materials for early algebra in Investigations In turn, this classroom-based research provided insights that led to continued work in this area and new contributions to knowledge about the teaching and learning of early algebra (Russell et al., 2011a, 2011b, 2017; Schifter, 2009; Schifter et al., 2009; Schifter et al., 2008; Schweitzer, 2006).

In sum, the development of each edition of Investigations drew on, informed, and contributed to current research and practice. Many of the resources and references mentioned above will be compiled in a bibliography (coming soon).