The effects of changing from a traditional mathematics curriculum to an integrated mathematics curriculum on student mathematics learning in Georgia

Catherine Lynn Mallanda

Abstract

In 2005, the state of Georgia adopted a new integrated mathematics curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), which included a task-based approach for instruction. The purpose of this study was to determine if the new Georgia Performance Standards for mathematics increased students' mean mathematics Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores or induced changes in the distribution of students' scores on the PSAT/NMSQT. In addition, it was determined whether the level of course the student took, the type of implementation of the GPS curriculum or the preparation for implementation affected the PSAT/NMSQT scores. The results of the study indicated there was a statistically significant relationship between the GPS curriculum and students' mean mathematics scores for year one of implementation, but not for year two. Results also showed a change in the distribution of test scores for students scoring in the lower half of the range of possible scores. This study did not reveal any indication that following the specific practices of the GPS had an effect on the PSAT/NMSQT scores. In addition, the department chairman indicated while students benefitted from the GPS as it provided a more challenging curriculum and required students to make more mathematical connections, there were significant challenges for the students and teachers.