, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 249-255

Cognitive Tutor: Applied research in mathematics education

Abstract

For 25 years, we have been working to build cognitive models of mathematics, which have become a basis for middle- and high-school curricula. We discuss the theoretical background of this approach and evidence that the resulting curricula are more effective than other approaches to instruction. We also discuss how embedding a well specified theory in our instructional software allows us to dynamically evaluate the effectiveness of our instruction at a more detailed level than was previously possible. The current widespread use of the software is allowing us to test hypotheses across large numbers of students. We believe that this will lead to new approaches both to understanding mathematical cognition and to improving instruction.