Student
Perceptions and Attitudes
What
are students' perceptions and attitudes about the CorePlus Mathematics
Project curriculum?
A written,
Likerttype survey of students' perceptions and attitudes about
various aspects of their mathematics course experience was administered
at the end of each school year during the field test. In four fieldtest
schools, both CPMP Course 2 students (n = 221) and traditional
geometry students (n = 134) completed this survey at the end
of their respective courses. (Course 2 results are presented since
the newness effect of the CPMP approach is likely to have disappeared
by then). Each of the following findings was consistent across levels
of pretest student achievement.
 Students perceive the CPMP curriculum to be quite difficult,
at least as challenging as traditional collegeprep mathematics
courses. A common perception of students is that CPMP is challenging
and makes them think, but they say that with effort they are able
to understand the mathematical ideas and their applications.
 Over threefourths of CPMP and geometry students agreed that
cooperativegroup work was enjoyable and helped them learn mathematics.
The advantages of learning in groups most often cited by students
were seeing how other people attack problems and the support of
group members during problemsolving efforts.
 A significantly higher percent of CPMP students than of geometry
students agreed that their mathematics course made them feel more
confident that they could solve mathematical problems (71.1% compared
to 55.6%), that they learned to reason mathematically (68.8% to
53.0%), and that the course helped them see that mathematical
ideas make sense (64.7% to 51.1%).
 A significantly higher percent of CPMP students than of geometry
students agreed that their mathematics course contained realistic
problems (76.5% to 47.8%), made the mathematical ideas interesting
(70.1% to 41.4%), and increased their ability to talk about (68.2%
to 42.9%) and to write about mathematics (66.5% to 40.6%).
 CPMP and geometry students (over 85% of each) agreed that they
enjoyed using the calculator in mathematics class. About 70% of
both groups also agreed that they learned more mathematics by
using the calculator.
 CPMP students were much more likely than geometry students to
want to take a mathematics course taught in the same way the next
year (75.0% compared to 43.0% agreement), and 27% of CPMP students
at the end of Course 3 agreed that it was mainly because of CPMP
that they took a third year of mathematics. These findings coupled
with substantial increases in enrollments in junior and senior
mathematics courses in many fieldtest schools provide strong
evidence that the CPMP curriculum is a factor in keeping more
students in mathematics courses longer.

