Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2019

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Jerilynn Lepak

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Nalline Baliram


rigor, direct instruction, inquiry-based learning, Common Core State Standards, curriculum analysis, conceptual understanding


Research suggests that there is an absence of rigor in high school mathematics classes. Since curricula is often used to guide instruction, an analysis of direct instruction and inquiry-based learning curricula was conducted to investigate how rigor is integrated into these divergent approaches for presenting content to high school mathematics students, based on the expectation of rigor aligned with the Common Core State Standards regarding how (1) conceptual understanding, (2) procedural skill and fluency, and (3) applications are developed in the text. The results of the analysis show that neither style for writing curriculum is in alignment with the CCSS. In order to show how these expectations can be fully met, a synthesis of the rigorous components from the different curricula is included as an extended lesson segment. Overall, this project contributes to the ongoing discussion in academia on how mathematics should be taught by further investigating and critically analyzing how the three components of rigor are interwoven in direct instruction and inquiry-based learning curricula.


A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Honors Program.