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NSF Awards $2 Million to Study Russian Math Curriculum

The National Science Foundation has just awarded a five-year, $2 million grant for U.S. researchers to study the use of a mathematics curriculum developed in Russia that aims to teach elementary students about rational numbers, according to a press release from New York University.

The researchers—from NYU, as well as Iowa State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology—will investigate learning in classes that used the Elkonin-Davydov (E-D) elementary math curriculum, the press release notes. The particular emphasis in the curriculum is on multiplication, division, fractions, and ratios.

Martin Simon, a professor of mathematics education at NYU says in the release that the Russian curriculum holds potential for U.S. educators because it "builds on concepts of measurement. Students don't just learn about numbers, but about quantities and how quantities are measured by units. Thus they develop a foundation for multiplicative relationships."

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