Tizard is a ten year old transatlantic research and development partnership for mathematics reform: joining working mathematicians, parents, schools, teachers and pupils in primary and secondary schools in UK, US and France. I am the principal investigator. Copies of my peer-reviewed books and research papers can be read via academia.org. Accounts on our work have been published in Aspect, the magazine of the UK organization for school improvement professionals, the Cambridge Computer Laboratory Ring Magazine, the magazine of Churchill College Cambridge and Prospect Magazine:
The Tizard Schools are re-evaluating a curriculum developed by Dr Caleb Gattegno, and known to the US and UK Departments of Education in the 1950s and 1960s as the Cui programme. William Brownell, Dean of the Education School at UC Berkeley and math educator evaluated the Scottish and English Cui programmes for the US government in 1966:
Brownell was described in Shulman (1974) as a leader in the study of the psychology of school subjects. Shulman observed that Brownell's ``brilliant experimental work on the teaching of arithmetic reads as well today as it did forty years ago.'' (Lee Shulman, the psychology of school subjects: a premature obituary, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 1974, vol 11, pp319-339). Brownell challenged the whole concept of mental age as a criterion of readiness in learning mathematics. (W. A. Brownell. Readiness and the arithmetic curriculum, Elementary School Journal, v38, 1938, pp 344-354)
Gattegno wrote in 1955 ``the historic development of culture, if it has something to bring to our understanding of the (then) present moment, can be entirely foreign to what a mind stimulated in a new way can or could do, unforeseen in the former experience of the group. Too rigid a determinism, coupled with a slightly sentimental historicism, risk making us ignore whole continents potentially present in the mental universe.''
Brownell and Gattegno's voices remain in a minority. A substantial majority of mathematicians and educators continue to follow Maxwell's Genetic Principle: that ``the best way to guide to the mental development of the individual is to let him retrace the mental development of the race.''
Standardisation based on 19th Century curriculum unfoldings has its critics, but as Christopher H. Tienken, Editor AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice argues it remains the main determinant of state policy in US (Common Core CCSSI) and UK (National Curriculum).
We spelt out the opportunity that is being missed in this Prospect magazine blog. You can learn about our part in the international campaign to revise the Curriculum in Mathematics to remove extraneous content, to make room for algebraic thinking and more time to work on fractions in the attached article from Prospect Magazine:
Tizard is part funded by the UK Department for Education (DfES), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DTI), Shuttleworth Foundation, Apple Inc, Devon, Leicestershire and London schools and the Rita and Rowland Benson Trust. It is hosted at Stanford Computer Science. Our research, initiated at the request of Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education in AY2004-5, was endorsed in 2007 by Nick Gibb, the recent UK Minister for School Standards.
Worldwide sites working towards the adoption of Gattegno's work are listed here.