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Learning Trajectories in Mathematics: A Foundation for Standards, Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction aims to provide:

  • A useful introduction to current work and thinking about learning trajectories for mathematics education
  • An explanation for why we should care about these questions
  • A strategy for how to think about what is being attempted in the field, casting some light on the varying, and perhaps confusing, ways in which the terms trajectory, progression, learning, teaching, and so on, are being used by the education community.

Specifically, the report builds on arguments published elsewhere to offer a working definition of the concept of learning trajectories in mathematics and to reflect on the intellectual status of the concept and its usefulness for policy and practice. It considers the potential of trajectories and progressions for informing the development of more useful assessments and supporting more effective formative assessment practices, for informing the on-going redesign of mathematics content and performance standards, and for supporting teachers’ understanding of students’ learning in ways that can strengthen their capability for providing adaptive instruction. The authors conclude with a set of recommended next steps for research and development, and for policy.


With Jeffrey Barrett, Michael Battista, Douglas Clements, Jere Confrey, Vinci Daro, Alan Maloney, Wakasa Nagakura, Marge Petit, and Julie Sarama.

View on the CPRE website.


Center on Continuous Instructional Improvement



Date Posted: 06 July 2015