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IMPACTful Discussion - a Brief History of AMATYC's Signature Documents

By Evan Evans posted 01-01-2023 18:22:44


The Standards Committee 2023 New Year's resolution: To make IMPACT a living document and update AMATYC’s three signature documents; Crossroads, Beyond Crossroads, and IMPACT. Here is a brief description and history of our Signature Documents:

Crossroads (1995)

The purpose of Crossroads in Mathematics: Standards for Introductory College Mathematics Before Calculus is to address the special circumstances of, establish standards for, and make recommendations about two-year college and lower-division mathematics programs below the level of calculus. Three sets of standards for introductory college mathematics are defined in Chapter 2.

The Standards for Intellectual Development address desired modes of student thinking and represent goals for student outcomes. They include

  • Problem Solving
  • Modeling
  • Reasoning
  • Connecting with Other Disciplines
  • Communicating
  • Using Technology
  • Developing Mathematical Power

The Standards for Content provide guidelines for the selection of content that will be taught at the introductory level. They include

  • Number Sense
  • Symbolism and Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Function
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Deductive Proof

 The Standards for Pedagogy recommend the use of instructional strategies that provide for student activity and interaction and for student-constructed knowledge. They include

  • Teaching with Technology
  • Interactive and Collaborative Learning
  • Connecting with Other Experiences
  • Multiple Approaches
  • Experiencing Mathematics

 The chapters that follow interpret the standards in various program areas, discuss the implications of the standards in several areas of mathematics education, and provide the design for establishing a nationwide effort to disseminate and implement the standards.

Beyond Crossroads (2006)

The purposes of AMATYC’s second standards document, Beyond Crossroads, are to renew and to extend the goals, principles, and standards set forth in Crossroads and to continue the call for their implementation. Beyond Crossroads presents a renewed vision for mathematics courses offered in the first two years of college with an additional set of standards, called Implementation Standards, which focus on student learning and the learning environment, assessment of student learning, curriculum and program development, instruction, and professionalism.

 Beyond Crossroads is intended to stimulate faculty, departments, and institutions to examine, assess, and improve every component of mathematics education in the first two years of college. The Implementation Standards of Beyond Crossroads address the key elements of student expectations, facilities, human resources, materials, curriculum design, instructional delivery formats, and professional development to achieve the standards of Crossroads in Mathematics. One of the goals of Beyond Crossroads is to clarify issues, interpret, and translate research to bring standards-based mathematics instruction into practice. 

The Implementation Standards of Beyond Crossroads are first presented in Chapter 3. Then, each of Chapters 4 through 8 focuses on one Implementation Standard. Sections within those chapters address key issues for implementing standards-based mathematics education.

This document serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to work together to improve student success in mathematics courses and programs in the first two years of college, with particular emphasis on the two-year college student, faculty, and institution characteristics.


 IMPACT (2018)

IMPACT: Improving Mathematical Prowess And College Teaching  builds upon the content of Crossroads in Mathematics and Beyond Crossroads: Implementing Mathematics Standards in the First Two Years of College. It is research-based and uses the experiences of individuals invested in mathematics in the first two years of college. Information has been gathered for this document from AMATYC members and others through focus groups, personal interviews, and research by the writing team.

The goal of IMPACT is to improve mathematics education in the first two years of college by presenting clear guidance on how to impact the mathematical prowess of students. This guidance is meant to inspire faculty, departments, institutions, and policymakers to examine, assess, and take action to improve every component of mathematics education in the first two years of college.

When the ideas of IMPACT are implemented, students are empowered to be mathematically proficient and take ownership as they engage in the learning process. Faculty will focus on facilitating student success through building conceptual understanding and developing procedural fluency in each students’ chosen mathematical pathway with the support of their institutions.

IMPACT Live! is the interactive online social multimedia portal of AMATYC. Feedback responses from presentations at the 2017 AMATYC National Conference helped shape the ideas regarding the online presence. It will include practical help in implementing the standards and be searchable in a variety of ways, particularly using keywords. It will contain electronic resources in various formats such as blogs, communities, news, lesson plans, worksheets, projects, and videos and will link these sources back to IMPACT. It is a portal that will provide opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous interaction between members as well as a go-to resource.

AMATYC’s standards merit continuous attention and review. The rollout of IMPACT and IMPACT Live! begins the ripple effect for the work on AMATYC’s mathematical standards.  The standards will remain the same unless changed by the delegate assembly but the presentation and implementation of them will continue to evolve through the work of the Mathematics Standards in the First Two Years of College Committee whose focus is on promoting the AMATYC standards as well as maintaining the digital products to support those standards. This document is written by AMATYC members for faculty, departments, institutions, and policymakers to examine, assess, and take action to improve every component of mathematics education in the first two years of college.

In conclusion, these documents are OURS, written by US, and therefore should be known by ALL of US, for these documents are AMATYC and we are these documents. We encourage you to read these documents, join the updating process, participate in IMPACT Live! and help them live on as they are the foundation of what we are!