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This is a list of education practices (sometimes called fads) which have been replaced or abandoned by newer (or older) practices. To maintain a balanced point of view, each example should provide a source showing that the practice was abandoned or replaced. A practice abandoned by one school, for example standards-based mathematics may still be in adoption by other schools, so opposing methods may both appear on this list at different times or locations.

  • New Math[1] Status: abandoned and discredited by the late 1960s. The 1989 NCTM standards have been called the "new new math".
  • Standards-based mathematics Created in 1989 to elevate equity as a central goal of teaching mathematics, using a contructivist model. Some texts such as TERC's Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space contained little or not instruction of traditional arithemetic methods. While as of 2006, the 1989 NCTM standards were still widely accepted and schools were still adopting aligned curricula, many schools and states have effectively rejected the standards, changing to or adopting texts such as Saxon math in Tacoma WA, and the California mathematics standards have switched back to traditional rigorous fact-based standards, citing low math test scores.
  • Open classroom[2] Status: some schools still use this model, but no longer as predominant as it was in the 1960s and 1970s.


  1. "the new math was too complex for most students to grasp. The movement failed, but not before it created a generation of adults who hate mathematics [1]
  2. [2] The open classroom: schools without walls became all the rage during the early 1970s. Were they just another fad? Education Next, Spring, 2004 by Larry Cuban
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