Just as the science of reading has shown that some instructional practices are more effective than others, research points toward a more effective ‘science of math’
In 1997, the National Reading Panel issueda reporton the findings of dozens of studies looking into the most effective methods of teaching and learning reading. The report offered specific recommendations for effective practices, such as intentional and explicit phonics instruction for all students.
Lately, there has been movement toward codifying science-based literacy learning practices into law, but it took 16 years before the first state to do so, Mississippi, took such action. In the meantime, many educators—and even entire schools and districts—continued using outdated teaching methods or only engaged in phonics instruction with students in need of remediation.
Something similar is happening in mathematics classrooms right now. A national mathematics panel has not been convened to lay out the science of how students most effectively learn math, but there is a large body of research available. Unfortunately, the math instruction most students receive is not based in the science of math—but it could be.