Figure 3. Using Standards to Improve Student Achievement

portions of Figure 3. These systemic components also play a role in curriculum programs but primarily in the implementation phase. While it is outside the scope of this report to provide a detailed examination of these components, their importance and their role in implementation are addressed briefly in an appendix (Appendix A).

Finally, an important premise of this report is that what a student learns depends to a great degree on how he or she is taught (NCTM, 1989). As school districts develop curriculum programs, they need to be as thorough in their consideration of and communication about the instructional approaches of teachers as they are in their consideration of and communication about mathematics and science content. Instructional approaches that will lead students to process information for meaningful interpretations and to think creatively about mathematics and science must be clearly expressed and be coherent from unit to unit and from grade to grade. While these are not topics of this report per se, instructional methodology must support student development of conceptual understanding or the intended levels of student achievement will not be attained.

The next section of this report, "Components of Coherent Mathematics and Science Education Curriculum Programs," outlines the components of a coherent curriculum program and describes the criteria necessary to design and create each component. It then suggests a process for using the components to develop the curriculum program.

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