Math Expressions was developed using the methods of learning science design research focused on building students' conceptual understanding of math, interwoven with the other components of math proficiency.
The program was part of a large-scale study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education* to determine the effectiveness of four elementary math curricula on student academic achievement. The results were clear—Math Expressions students were performing at higher levels of math achievement when compared to students using similar programs.
Meet Program Author, Dr. Karen Fuson
Math Expressions author, Dr. Karen Fuson, is Professor Emerita of Learning Sciences for the School of Education and Social Policy, as well as the Department of Psychology, at Northwestern University. Dr. Fuson's research is highly regarded in the field of elementary mathematics for her involvement in the Common Core and the Common Core Learning Progressions and notably for spearheading the Children's Math Worlds (CMW) Research Project—a 10-year study of how to effectively teach students math from an early age.
The CMW Research Project examined how teachers can build conceptual supports, including meaningful language, drawings, manipulatives, and classroom communication methods, to facilitate mathematical competence. The results from this research helped create Math Expressions.
*Agodini, R., Harris, B., Atkins-Burnett, S., Heaviside, S., Novak, T., & Murphy, R. (2009). Achievement Effects of Four Early Elementary School Math Curricula: Finding from First Graders in 39 Schools (NCEE 2009-4052). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.