A Balanced and Unified Curriculum
The first three courses in the Core-Plus Mathematics series provide
a significant core of broadly useful mathematics for all students. They
were developed to prepare students for success in college, in careers,
and in daily life in contemporary society. Course 4 formalizes and
extends the core program, with a focus on the mathematics needed to be
successful in college mathematics and statistics courses.
The Algebra and Functions strand develops student ability to recognize,
represent, and solve problems involving relations among quantitative
variables. Central to the development is the use of functions as
mathematical models. The key algebraic models in the curriculum
are linear, exponential, power, polynomial, logarithmic, rational,
and trigonometric functions. Modeling with systems of equations,
both linear and nonlinear, is developed. Attention is also given
to symbolic reasoning and manipulation.
The primary goal of the Geometry and Trigonometry strand is to
develop visual thinking and ability to construct, reason with,
interpret, and apply mathematical models of patterns in visual
and physical contexts. The focus is on describing patterns in shape,
size, and location; representing patterns with drawings, coordinates,
or vectors; predicting changes and invariants in shapes under transformations;
and organizing geometric facts and relationships through deductive
The primary role of the Statistics and Probability strand is to
develop student ability to analyze data intelligently, to recognize
and measure variation, and to understand the patterns that underlie
probabilistic situations. The ultimate goal is for students to
understand how inferences can be made about a population by looking
at a random sample from that population. Graphical methods of data
analysis, simulations, sampling, and experience with the collection
and interpretation of real data are featured.
The Discrete Mathematics strand develops student ability to solve
problems using vertex-edge graphs, recursion, matrices, systematic
counting methods (combinatorics), and mathematical methods for
democratic decision making and information processing. Key themes
are discrete mathematical modeling, optimization, and algorithmic
(A Scope and Sequence (PDF
of mathematical topics typically taught in high school mathematics courses
and their location in the CPMP four-year curriculum is available, as
well as a chart indicating the Sequence
of Units in Courses 1-4.)
Course 4 continues the preparation of students for college mathematics.
In Course 4, formal and symbolic reasoning strategies, the hallmarks
of advanced mathematics, are developed as complements to more intuitive
arguments and numerical and graphical approaches to problems developed
in Courses 1-3. The mathematical content and 11 units in Course 4
allows considerable flexibility in tailoring a course to best prepare
for undergraduate programs. A sequence of units in Course 4 is recommended
for students intending to pursue programs in the mathematical, physical,
and biological sciences, or engineering and a somewhat different sequence
of units is recommended for students intending to pursue programs in
the social, management,
humanities, or some of the health sciences.
For students wishing to complete advanced placement courses such as
AP Calculus and AP Statistics or complete International Baccalaureate
Programs, it is recommended that they begin Course 1 as 8th graders.
By beginning Course 1 in 8th grade, students can elect to enroll
in AP Statistics as juniors and AP Calculus as seniors. Other options
are outlined in Preparing for College.