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Pages and Files
Updates (spring 2015)
Vision of the Curriculum
Basics Of New Life
New Life Compared to Other Redesign Models
Guide to New Life
Mathematical Literacy for College Students
Algebraic Literacy Course
Quantway, Statway; Mathways
AMATYC-DMC Work: Intermediate Algebra Position Paper
dev math revival blog
Presentations - Local
An AMATYC webinar was held on June 6, 2012, with Uri Treisman and Jack Rotman on Issues in Implementing Reform in Developmental and Gateway Mathematics... the recording of this webinar is now available at
(the AMATYC webinar page).
Some additional information about this webinar is over at the blog
Instead of simply 'redesigning', we suggest that you consider a "New Life" approach. Developmental mathematics should provide preparation for all of our students, and should reflect changes that have occured within college mathematics.
This page serves TWO PURPOSES:
First, it's a place to see how your college can get started on the journey to a new curriculum, one that has mathematical integrity and serves the needs of your students.
Second, this page is a central sharing site for people involved in implementing the new model of developmental mathematics.
<<< STARTING THE JOURNEY TO A NEW LIFE CURRICULUM >>>
April 2012 -- The Dana Center has developed an "Implementation Guide" for their Mathways program; pretty much the whole thing applies to doing a New Life change. Here is their document
Below is the "New Life" implementation guide:
We understand that change begins with the faculty; you do not need to engage 100% of your faculty in this process ... though you must have 'enough'. Aim for a goal of including at least two-thirds (67%) of your full-time faculty and as many of your adjuncts as possible. The change process involves faculty looking at the needs for the program and learning different ways of looking at the curriculum.
Your process might begin with a group of faculty studying the "New Life" materials (see "Basics of New Life", in left panel). However, you might find it more productive to go through a growth process. We see four dimensions of a modern & high quality program:
2) Outcomes (and the assessment)
4) Student Support
These four components should be both "rich" individually, and integrated. In other words, the content should involve diverse material of high quality ... the instruction should use methods that connect the content & assessment based on the best theory & research ... the outcomes should address multiple types ... the student support should include within class content (such as study skills) and connections to college services. Our collective history has not provided us with this system -- but we believe that our professional experiences and motivations make it possible for us to build a system such as this.
Outline of a possible process: <each stage may involve significant time ... several hours, some in meetings and some in individual work>
Spend some time engaged in identifying the "mission" for your developmental mathematics program. You might have small groups generate a list of reasons, focusing on the big picture; these reasons for existence are not the content ... rather, they describe the benefit to students for taking developmental mathematics courses. [You could look at the type of reasons listed in our Mission Statement
; however, the process works better if your faculty identify the reasons themselves.]
Ignore the current courses in your curriculum! From your mission statement, create lists of mathematical outcomes. It is likely that the need "mathematics for college-level mathematics" will be one of the missions, and faculty may think that they understand the types of background needed for this; check that understanding against the MAA "CRAFTY" materials
. For background on the mathematics needed for other disciplines, consider
For quantitative literacy information, you might look at
Resource: "Game pieces" listing the content of the New Life courses
Implementation Work Pieces MLCS.pdf
Implementation Work Pieces Transitions.pdf
Based on the outcomes listed on this wiki, these pages can be printed and cut up to form pieces of paper to help organize the work of steps 2 and 3.
Still ignore the current courses in your curriculum! We do not need to have 'pre-algebra' and 'algebra' courses ... we need to have courses which meet students' needs. Begin to cluster the outcomes from step 2 into groups that could be covered in a coherent manner. You will need to avoid "procedure fixation", where all content is based on manipulating symbols; you might consider looking at the '5 strands of mathematical proficiency' in "ADDING IT UP" (see
Identify clusters of outcomes that might fit together in one of two developmental mathematics courses. The "New Life" vision is for a short sequence, with more direct access to collegiate courses; course A is likely to involve numeracy and algebra concepts including functions, and possibly statistics with numeric and graphic methods, some symbolic ... course B is likely to include the majority of the symbolic methods as well as numeric and graphic. "Arithmetic" should not have a major part of either course.
Review your course clusters ... make sure that students do not need to take both in order to have basic mathematical literacy (as is needed for many basic science, technology, and occupational courses). Students should be able to go directly from course A to a college course that does not require college-level mathematics. In addition, it should be reasonable for students to begin at course B with a good background. You might consider identifying a small set of critical prerequisite areas that can be assessed and reviewed as needed in each course so that more students can begin at a higher course.
Write your course proposals and related documents for your college. This will involve finding instructional materials; you can find some of that information in the second part of this page. Placement issues will need to be addressed; you may find that you can use the same placement instruments as before with the new course A and course B. At this point, you are ready to share in the second part of this page!
You can find several online presentations related to implementations issues at the blog
Instant Presentations at DevMathRevival
Also: the blog has information on implementing MLCS, such as
This page is also a central sharing site for people involved in implementing the new model of developmental mathematics.
We are attempting to coordinate the 'data and research' components of implementing a New Life curriculum at multiple colleges. If you believe that you are implementing such a curriculum (one or two courses ... however many sections each), please contact our Team Leader for data & research -- Linda Zientek
We may also be able to provide advice and/or assistance in "faculty development", which means helping faculty become ready and able to teach in this different kind of model. If you are interested, contact one of the 'consulting colleagues' for faculty development ... Robert Cantin
, Rosemary Karr,
You can start by just inserting text on this page describing what you are doing; others may then comment on it and offer help. Please include your username and/or email in your entry.
Post it here ... [Sign-in to wiki, click on 'edit this page', add your information and the DATE, click save]
October 19, 2012
Parkland College (the community college in Champaign, IL) will start implementation of a partial New Life model in Fall 2013. Rather than overhaul our whole program at once, we left the STEM track fairly intact and traditional (beg alg, int alg, then college alg/precalc). But we have created an MLCS course that provides a parallel track for non-STEM students who don't need college algebra (MLCS, then college-level gen ed). It's a start! And a student who takes MLCS and then changes their mind can switch tracks and go straight into intermediate algebra. So down the road if we got faculty buy-in, it would be an easy transition to get rid of traditional beg alg and turn int alg into a Transitions course. Don't know if we'll get there or not!
-- Erin Wilding-Martin
June 14, 2010
The New York State retreat held in Syracuse on June 5-6 was a big success. 22 participants representing 7 New York State community colleges were present. We discussed the purpose of developmental mathematics, the MLCS syllabus, student-related issues and implementation issues. Kathy Almy gave a stimulating presentation on the New Life project and her own work developing materials. We discussed the Mathway grant and Mel Bienenfeld agreed to provide more information to the participants after speaking to Rikki Blair of AMATYC. Faculty from four of the colleges present indicated a strong possibility that they would pilot MLCS in the fall of 2011, and others were bringing information back to their colleges. The SUNY administration (State University of New York) has expressed interest in New Life and the possibility of broader involvement of SUNY will be investigated. Participants agreed to stay in contact and cooperate in whatever manner becomes appropriate.
-- Mel Bienenfeld, Westchester Community College (
May 24, 2010
In New York State we have organized a retreat for the weekend of June 5-6, 2010, with the purpose of creating a team which would potentially begin implementing New Life simultaneously at several colleges accross the state. The retreat will take place at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. The seven colleges which are (so far) represented are Onondaga, Erie CC (Buffalo), Jefferson CC (Watertown), Hudson Valley CC (Troy), Dutchess County CC (Poughkeepsie), Westchester Community College (Valhalla), and Borough of Manhattan CC (the Big Apple). Kathleen Almy of the AMATYC New Life team will be joining us on Sunday to help get us started.
-- Mel Bienenfeld, Westchester Community College (
Colleagues of mine at Westchester Community College (NY) are interested in (potentially) implementing New Life in the State U Community College system, statewide. We will try to put a team together from across the state. I had been assuming that some resources already existed -- student exercises, textbooks, placement tests, anything! But the only thing I have seen is the expected student outcomes for the Foundations course. So we are basically starting from scratch. Am I right?
---- Mel Bienenfeld (
Jack says ... For textbooks, the best current option is some custom publishing package assembled from two or three texts; there are some 'quantitative literacy' books around that are almost at the right level covering the functions and modeling components of MLCS ... other books cover the numeracy and proportionality materials. Hopefully, a few faculty will undertake the project of writing a 'book' specifically for MLCS. Placement testing is tougher in some ways, as most of us are required to use some commercial instrument ... which means that change will be very slow; however, since placement is normally done as an approximation we can hope that the current instruments can provide some approximation for MLCS.
Update July 2011: The Quantway instructional materials, which reflect the MLCS curriculum, will be open resource materias in 2012 (under a Creative Commons License) for free use by any college.
As the work continues, we will create a separate page for common implementations ... for multiple people or colleges creating similar courses.
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