The CUNY HSE Curriculum Framework--Math: Problem-Solving in Functions and Algebra

The resource explores students' mindsets and how it affects how they learn math. It also identifies core teaching principles and provides teaching materials to support those principles. 

Mark Trushkowsky
Tyler Holzer
Erna Golden
Shirley Miller
Eric Appleton
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
The City University of New York (CUNY)
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

This resource, the math component of CUNY's High School Equivalency Framework, is based on the notion that adult numeracy learners benefit a great deal from a pedagogy that keeps students active and not passive in the classroom. The resource, through its overview and sample lessons, values active learning, mathematical thinking that goes well beyond fluency with procedures, content that has some relevance to learners, and problem-solving that involves more than one possible solution or solution pathway that is reasonable. The resource also challenges traditional notions about what appropriately happens in a math classroom, including valuing student voices as much as teacher voice, how students think about and solve problems more than focusing on their answers, and valuing student errors not as inconveniences but as learning opportunities. And finally, the resource pays close attention to non-cognitive behaviors and attitudes of adult numeracy students. This is critical given that so many adult numeracy students have had deeply negative prior math learning experiences.

What the experts say

This is one of the most powerful resources in the field. It is complete with explanations on design instruction, areas of focus, and lessons to begin applying in any adult education classroom. In many ways, it is a manual that can be used to help educators and programs design effective math instruction, including several examples, too.

The Overview describes what math teaching and learning looks like in a student-centered, active-learning, problem-solving classroom, and is perhaps the strongest feature of this document. The Units that follow help to illustrate the teaching and learning practices described in the Overview. The resource is useful for individual adult numeracy teachers and professional developers, and is effective as a guide for administrators in the field who are responsible for promoting appropriate adult numeracy instruction.

One caution to practitioners is that this resource is not a scaffolded "curriculum" with lessons that are designed to be taught sequentially. 

Resource Notice

This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.

Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. When you visit, no personal information is collected unless you choose to provide that information to us. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit. We invite you to read our privacy policy.