The Effect of Constructivist Mathematics on Achievement in Rural Schools

  • Michael Grady Dixon High School
  • Sandra Watkins Western Illinois University
  • Greg Montalvo Western Illinois University


International assessment data indicate American students are not competing with their counterparts in other countries. The mathematics curriculum and pedagogy are not preparing students to compete in a global economy. This study compared student achievement using sixth grade mathematics results from the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. Specifically, the study compared the results of students in three different rural school districts, all of whom were receiving instruction in three different mathematics curricula. In one district, students received seven years of the K-6 Everyday Mathematics curriculum which was compared with students who received seven years of instruction using a traditional mathematics curriculum in the second district and in the third district scores were compared with students who were taught using a traditional mathematics curriculum supplemented with Mountain Math. The results of this study indicate the constructivist K-6 elementary mathematics curriculum did not lead to higher levels in math achievement when compared with the traditional methods of instruction.  


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Author Biographies

Michael Grady, Dixon High School
Mike Grady is a high school principal in Dixon, IL, and a former Illinois high school mathematics teacher. He has a profound interest in district and school improvement and is especially interested in the delivery of a viable curriculum in PreK-12 mathematics.
Sandra Watkins, Western Illinois University

Sandra Watkins is an associate professor of education leadership at Western Illinois University. Before teaching at the university, she was an associate superintendent, principal, teacher, school counselor and school psychologist. Her passion is school and district improvement challenges.

Greg Montalvo, Western Illinois University
Greg Montalvo is a professor of educational psychology at Western Illinois University. He has a strong interest in student achievement, instructional development and research design. For the past decade he has been active in district and school continuous improvement.  
How to Cite
Grady, M., Watkins, S., & Montalvo, G. (2012). The Effect of Constructivist Mathematics on Achievement in Rural Schools. The Rural Educator, 33(3).
Research Articles