Natalie Thomas

Natalie Thomas

University of New Hampshire

Math Education


Mentor: Dr. Timothy Fukawa-Connelly, UNH Department of Mathematics & Statistics

The Influence of State Standards on Lesson Design

The education system in the United States is complex and multi-tiered and there are a variety of controlling agents and agencies that operate at the national, state, and local levels. At the state level, many states produce standards that outline the curriculum at each grade level to ensure high expectations and equality in all schools so students receive the finest education available. In response to the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine developed the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) that created a common curriculum, grade level expectations (GLEs). Teachers are held accountable for teaching the GLEs through the NECAP exams, which are administered to grades 3-8, and grade 11*. The present study explores how the standards set by the state influence the pedagogical practices, content, texts, and supplementary materials utilized by seventh grade mathematics teachers to plan lessons. The study will also look into how teachers plan and execute lessons intended to enhance conceptual understanding and how state curriculum documents are translated into district documents. These questions will be approached through a interviewing and seventh grade math teachers and curriculum coordinators and observing seventh grade classrooms.

*Maine does not administer the NECAP exam to grade 11



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