K-12 Mathematics Philosophy

  •      Imagine a classroom, school, or a school district where all students have access to high-quality, engaging mathematics instruction. There are ambitious expectations for all, with accommodations for those who need it. Knowledgeable teachers have adequate resources to support their work and are continually growing as professionals. The curriculum is mathematically rich, offering students opportunities to learn important mathematical concepts and procedures with understanding. Technology is an essential component of the environment. Students engage in complex mathematical tasks chosen carefully by teachers. They draw on knowledge from a wide variety of mathematical topics, sometimes approaching the same problem from different mathematical perspectives or representing the mathematics in different ways until they find methods that enable them to make progress. Teachers help make, refine, and explore conjectures on the basis of evidence and use of a variety of reasoning and proof techniques to confirm or disprove those conjectures. Students are flexible and resourceful problem solvers. Alone or teamed in groups and with access to technology, they work collectively and reflectively, with the skilled guidance of their teachers. Orally and in writing, students communicate their ideas and results effectively. They value mathematics and engage actively in learning it.

    The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)


         The Brighton K-12 Mathematics Curriculum supports the ideas in this vision statement. The district’s goal is to meet and exceed both the New York State and National Standards. The need to understand and be able to use mathematics in everyday life and in the workplace has never been greater. Therefore, we believe that:

    • Mathematics can and must be learned by all students. Mathematics education requires high expectations and strong support for all students to be successful and meet their full potential.
    • A mathematics curriculum should be coherent and well articulated across the grades. The curriculum should guide students to increasing levels of sophistication and depth of knowledge.
    • A mathematics curriculum should support development of thinking and reasoning skills while focused on important mathematical ideas.
    • The mathematics curriculum should support the communication of ideas through reading, writing, and discussion.
    • Students must learn mathematics with conceptual understanding to enable them to solve the new kinds of problems the rapidly changing world presents.
    • Assessment should be an ongoing classroom activity that supports the learning of mathematics and informs instruction.
    • Effective teaching requires that the teacher knows and understands mathematics, knows and understands the developmental stages of learners, and knows and employs a variety of instructional strategies.
    • Technology should be used in mathematics education as a teaching tool to enhance student learning, but not as a replacement for basic understanding and computational fluency.

    *Special acknowledgment is noted in regard to the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics manual that is published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.