Design Principles

Research in cognitive and learning sciences has led to a number of recommendations for improving learning and instruction (Pashler et al., 2007). Although research and theory have explored the nature of competence and its development in multiple subject areas, this substantial knowledge base has had only a limited influence in shaping the design of most K-12 curricular materials and instructional practices.

The Math Center applies four principles to redesign a widely-used middle school mathematics curriculum: 1) combining visual with verbal information to promote the integration of concepts, 2) structuring practice by interleaving worked examples and self-explanation prompts with new problems to solve, 3) carefully spacing the learning of critical content and skills over time, and 4) using focused feedback on quizzes and homework to promote student learning.