Reform mathematics is an approach to mathematics education, particularly in North America. It is based on principles explained in 1989 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The NCTM document, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, attempted to set forth a vision for K-12 (ages 5-18) mathematics education in the United States and Canada. Their recommendations were adopted by many education agencies, from local to federal levels through the 1990s. In 2000, NCTM revised its standards with the publication of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM). Like the first publication, these updated standards have continued to serve as the basis for many states' mathematics standards, and for many federally funded textbook projects. The first standards gave a strong call for a de-emphasis on manual arithmetic in favor of students' discovering their own knowledge and conceptual thinking. The PSSM has taken a more balanced view, but still emphasizes conceptual thinking and problem solving.
Mathematics instruction in this style has been called standards-based mathematics or reform mathematics.
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