Impact of Connected Mathematics Project Problem Based Inquiries on Student Standardized Test Scores
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) curriculum in helping to prepare middle school students for success in the mathematics classroom and in becoming better problem solvers. By comparing standardized test scores for middle schoolers who are taught using CMP with those who are taught with a more traditional approach using student t-tests assuming equal variances with a significance level of 0.10, CMP’s effectiveness as a viable mathematics curriculum to enhance students’ problem-solving abilities was assessed. The 2018 Wisconsin Forward Exam scores were compared by grade level between the school using CMP and schools not using CMP within the district and around the state of Wisconsin. For seventh-grade students using CMP compared to the schools in the same district, a statistically significant difference existed. Also, the analysis showed that the data was strongly trending in the right direction for the scores of the sixth-grade class using CMP compared to the schools in the same district. It is interesting to note that the results show that there are no statistically significant differences in regards to the test scores for a majority of the students across grade levels regardless of the mathematics curriculum used. Even though a relationship existed, it is not enough to determine causation. To improve future studies, larger sample sizes from the same region of the country could benefit the researcher in helping to determine if CMP is a viable and effective alternate mathematics curriculum. Also, an analysis of standardized test scores from different student groups could help identify if CMP is beneficial to helping certain students increase their mathematical fluency. If a specific curriculum or mathematical strategies could be identified that help students become better problem solvers, it would be interesting to compare those findings with other countries around the world.