What’s the difference? Integrated math is a series of courses that “integrate” all the main topics in mathematics, i.e. algebra, geometry, data, and trigonometry. Traditional math is an approach that breaks those topics down into their individual parts, i.e. Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus. Many high schools offer both course pathways. However, the integrated pathway is typically offered as an alternative for students that are not confident enough in math to take the traditional path. When this is the case the integrated pathway is also typically “watered down” to make it easier for students to pass. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards ODE, and the writers of the CCSS, are strongly recommending that high schools no longer offer an alternative pathway for the sole purpose of giving students a way to obtain their math credits. Many people oppose the integrated pathway. So, which should you choose? It is the recommendation of this writer that you base that decision on what is best for your students. However, if you are on the fence, choose the integrated approach. Students receive an integrated approach in middle school. The traditional path tends to leave students behind because the topics are segregated and it is not apparent how everything fits together. When choosing this pathway though be sure to consider the implications on instruction. Allow teachers time to be trained and become familiar with the new method of presenting mathematics. The standards are the same but the daily lessons will be quite a bit different. Set teachers up for success and students will be successful too. Click here to read an article on NCTMs website about this topic.

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