complex instruction overview

What is Complex Instruction?

Complex Instruction is a particular approach to small groupwork that promotes equitable interacphoto-1455815152231-be9c88eb7468tions and learning. Although the strategies promoted by Complex Instruction work well in all classrooms, this approach is particularly effective in diverse classroom settings – classrooms where students bring multiple abilities and a range of community/cultural resources.

This page gives an introduction to Complex Instruction & provides materials for exploring Complex Instruction on your own, in a mathematics methods course, or as part of a study group. 
Many teachers utilize elements of collaborative learning in their classrooms, but the following criteria distinguish Complex Instruction from other classes that may use group work more generally:

These materials are drawn from a 6-8 week unit on Complex Instruction I developed for my secondary mathematics methods course.


Groupworthy Math Tasks

This page highlights several groupworthy tasks created by prospective teachers in my secondary mathematics methods courses. The page includes links for downloading these tasks for use in your own classrooms. The page also includes links to other websites where teachers can find groupworthy tasks.


Complex Instruction Unit

This page provides an overview of a 6-8 week unit on Complex Instruction for mathematics methods courses. The overview describes weekly topics and activities and includes an assignment description for guiding prospective teachers to adapt a mathematics task to be groupworthy.

Resources for Using Complex Instruction in Math