ClassroomWindow crowd-sources classroom product (texts, technology and tools) reviews and feedback directly from teachers. Our mission is to develop a national data set about what's working - or not - in classrooms from the perspectives of teachers, who are both the end users the true experts about what works for students.
We have recently launched a survey of teachers about the quality and effectiveness of their math textbooks. It's the only survey of its kind and we have some preliminary results to share based on hundreds of responses from teachers across the country. By publicizing the results in an infographic we hope to maximize interest, driving more teachers to complete the survey and sparking interest from media outlets, schools, and publishing companies in the important work we're doing.
According to the US Commerce Dept, 60% of all jobs of the future will require math, science and technology skills.
- Only 32% of US 8th graders are proficient in math, placing US 32nd of 65 industrialized countries.
- Countries with 50% of better proficiency: Korea, Finland, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and the Netherlands
- Shanghai: 75% proficiency
- U.S. students recently finished 25th in math and 17th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- The World Economic Forum ranks the US #48 in quality of math and science instruction.
- Fewer than 15% of American engineers are women.
- By 2018 the US will be short 3 million high-skills workers.
ClassroomWindow believes if we want to know what's working - or not - in classrooms, we should ask teachers. So we asked them recently how their math textbooks are working for them and their kids. Here's what the preliminary data from our TeacherView Survey on Math Textbooks reveals:
- 86% of K-8 Math teachers report needing to supplement their text with additional materials because the textbook is inadequate to meet the needs of their students
- 78% percent feel compelled to either create their own or borrow materials from another teacher -- only 22% rely only on what came from the publisher.
- The most widely used textbook in the US (185,000 classrooms) receives the third lowest (out of 17 textbooks) rating from teachers; The highest rated textbook is UCSMP Transitions Mathematics followed by three-way tie for second among enVision Math, Singapore Math, and TERC Investigations
- 33% of teachers believe their textbook is ineffective for English Language Leaners; 50% of teachers using the most widely used textbook call that text ineffective for ELL students; the highest rated program for ELL students is Singapore Math
- 30% of teachers believe their textbook is ineffective for students of poverty; The highest rated text for students of poverty is enVision Math.
Representative Teacher Feedback:
- "One strength of this program is the visuals and notes that precede each section and topic. A big weakness is the lack of muti-step word problems. Each section should have this. I would like to also see more use of manipulatives/ideas for supplementing the text with rich learning."
- "This is a nice curriculum if the teacher is well versed in math. I've seen many teachers try to teach this through direct instruction and it doesn't work. Students need to be taught to work in groups and explore on their own (A task many schools fail to teach students how to do). While students are exploring the teacher must move around the room and ask good questions. Finally, and most importantly, teachers must spend time summarizing the learning and getting students to write."
- "The combination of the online animated activities, colorful worksheets, use of manipulatives, and various assessment opportunities make this an effective program."