Mathematics at the Central Virginia Governor’s School
CVGS prides itself in being a school where students experience unique opportunities in math, science and technology. The past several years have been filled with much debate, development of materials and significant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in order to promote reform in mathematics education. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has published “Standards” for mathematics reform that emphasize the student’s “ability to explore, conjecture, reason logically, solve non-routine problems and communicate.” The National Council on Science and Technology Education has published a set of recommendations (Project 2061) on achieving scientific literacy for all citizens. The Virginia Department of Education has also published Standards of Learning for mathematics students. Included in these recommendations are developing a broad knowledge base, emphasizing conceptual understanding, and student involvement in the learning process. All publications place increased importance on technology in the classroom (graphing calculators, Calculator Based Laboratory (CBL), graphing software, computer algebra systems).
The mathematics department has been actively involved in reforming the CVGS mathematics program. Since 1993, the Math Analysis course has been active in the research and selection of appropriate curricula which incorporates graphing and data analysis alongside traditional precalculus topics. The following year the mathematics department implemented Connections in Mathematics (CIM); a reform course for high school seniors developed at CVGS. CIM incorporates content and methodology recommendations from the NCTM “Standards” with the goal to broaden students’ mathematical experiences. CVGS also uses calculus texts and curricula which explore topics graphically, numerically and analytically and are structured to make students think. On an as needed basis, CVGS also offers Linear Algebra and Vector Calculus for those seniors who have completed two semesters of calculus.
We are excited that our mathematics courses line up with current reform efforts and recommendations made by national and state organizations and about the positive impact this will have on our students.
CVGS Mathematics Department