Depth Of Knowledge for mathematics

Norman Webb explains why the teaching of math should be aligned with the complexity of the subject

TEACHERS ARE FACED with a vast array of guidance regarding what students should know and should be able to do. Teachers use textbooks and planning guides, national organizations make recommendations, and researchers disclose greater insights into the learning sequence and process. Teachers need to make sense of how their own methods fit, and align their teaching with these expectations, so that students learn what they are expected to know and do. But how can they do this?

What we know
● Paying attention to content complexity is important. Depth Of Knowledge is one way of defining content complexity. There are four levels:
Level 1 – Recall
Level 2 – Skill/Concept
Level 3 – Strategic Thinking
Level 4 – Extended Thinking

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October 2009