learned (as argued by William McCallum, University of Arizona, and Richard Lehrer, Vanderbilt University, when they testified to the committee on September 18, 2002). In this sense, a content analysis would need to include an assessment of what a set of curricular tasks makes possible to occur in a classroom as a result of activity undertaken, and would depend heavily on the ability of the teacher to make effective use of these opportunities and to work flexibly with the curricular choices. This kind of content analysis is often a part of pilot testing or design experiments. Others prefer an approach to content analysis that is independent of pedagogy to ensure comprehensiveness, completeness, and accuracy of topic and to consider if the sequencing forms a coherent, logical, and age-appropriate progression. Both options provide valuable and useful information in the analysis of curricular effectiveness but demand very different methodologies.

Another consideration might be the qualifications of the authors and their experience with school and collegiate mathematics. The final design element concerns the primary audience for curricular dissemination. One publisher indicated its staff would often make decisions on curricular design based on the expressed needs or preferences of state adoption boards, groups of teachers, or in the case of home schooling, parents. Alternatively, a curriculum might be designed to appeal to a particular subgroup, such as gifted and talented students, or focus on preparation for different subsequent courses, such as physics or chemistry.

Implementation Components

Curricular programs are enacted in a variety of school settings. Curriculum designers consider these settings to various degrees and in various ways. For example, implementation depends heavily on the capacity of a school system to support and sustain the curriculum being adopted. This implies that a curricular program’s effectiveness depends in part on if it is implemented adequately and how it fits within the grade-level band for which it is designed as well as whether it fits with the educational contexts that proceed or follow it.

Implementation studies have provided highly convincing evidence that implementation is complicated and difficult because curricula are enacted within varying social contexts. Factors such as participation in decision making, incentives such as funding or salaries, time availability for professional development, staff turnover or student attendance, interorganizational arrangements, and political processes can easily hinder or enhance implementation (Chen, 1990).

In evaluation studies, these issues are also referred to as process evaluation or program or performance monitoring. Implementation includes examining the congruity between the instruction to students and the goals

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