We’re Divided Over CPM

Andelina Miller, Genevieve Nemeth, and Carly Waldorph

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The transition from traditional learning to common core type learning through CPM was not an easy one, and was specifically made by teachers in the district to help students more sufficiently meet the common core standards.

After common core standards were adopted in California, in 2010, school districts around the state including Branham, had to change the curriculum they used to teach students, because the new standards were more geared towards problem solving and collaboration. The math departments were testing out four different math textbooks: Springboard, Big Ideas, Carnegie Mellon and CPM. Ramani Visvanathan, who teaches IM 2 and AP Calculus, stated that CPM was the most efficient textbook for common core learning.

“In the subsequent years teachers decided that CPM was the most useful textbook as far as common core is concerned,” Visvanathan said. “Because it incorporated collaboration between students.”

The new curriculum differed from the traditional way math was taught in schools, instead of focusing on one concept in math for an entire year CPM combined many different math concepts into one class called IM 1.

CPM has essentially changed the way math was taught here and changed the role of teachers in the classroom.

“I would step in only if the whole group got stuck. I look at my job as more of a facilitator to guide the solving process,” Visvanathan said.

Visvanathan said that the pushback from students isn’t new. Some students prefer working individually. A survey of around 580 students showed that 38.79% of students are comfortable working individually, however that students’ ability to work in groups was necessary.

“The modern age demands collaboration,” Visvanathan said.