April 20, 2006 Mathematics underpins our understanding of the universe – it provides a lingua franca for everything we can measure and visualize. Which is why we think the new Cognitive Tutor 2006 software of the Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II mathematics curricula are so very important. Having an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher/mentor is something few people get to experience with mathematics. Having such attentive coaching and guidance available 24 hours a day during those structured learning years is a gift and it is now available in an extraordinarily advanced form. Carnegie Learning's curricula are based on more than two decades of cognitive science research at Carnegie Mellon University studying how students think, learn, and apply new knowledge in mathematics. The instructional format was developed around an artificial intelligence model that identifies weaknesses in each individual student's mastery of mathematical concepts, customizes prompts to focus on areas where the student is struggling, and prescribes new problems addressing those specific concepts. A Teacher's Toolkit provides the instructor with a report on each student's progress in each area on an ongoing basis and this works particularly well for gifted students – results with exceptional students are also exceptional. If you are a student or have a child who is a student, this is worth a look.
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