In the early 1990s, the National Science Foundation began funding the development of programs that would teach math at a higher conceptual level while also engaging students in interesting, real-world problems. After extensive field testing, most are just now becoming commercially available.

The differences between NSF-funded programs and traditional texts “are many, profound and subtle,” notes Prof. Eric Robinson of Ithaca College, who is reviewing the programs.To understand the content and teaching strategies, teachers will need professional development, he says. “You don’t just buy the book.”

In addition, some of Singapore’s highly regarded elementary math textbooks are now available in English translation through the Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation in Chicago. Singapore students led the world in 7th- and 8th-grade mathematics achievement on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study. For more information, contact: Madge Goldman (312) 987-9500.

The following organizations provide information about NSF-funded math programs.

Elementary programs (K-6)



Contact: Sheila Sconiers, Lexington, Mass., (781) 862-7878, ext. 44.

Middle school programs

Show Me Center


Contact: (573) 884-2099, Columbia, Mo.

High School Programs


Phone: (800) 688-1829

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