Dr. Clements was a member of President Bush's National Math Advisory Panel, convened to advise the administration on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics, and coauthor of the Panel’s report. He was also a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics and co-author of their report. He is presently serving on the Common Core committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, helping to write national academic standards.
Currently, Dr. Clements is Principal Investigator on two large-scale research projects. The first, Increasing the efficacy of an early mathematics curriculum with scaffolding designed to promote self-regulation is a $3,000,000 award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to evaluate whether self-regulation and mathematics instruction can be combined synergistically. The second, Scaling Up TRIAD: Teaching Early Mathematics for Understanding with Trajectories and Technologies is also funded by IES ( as part of the IERI program—Interagency Educational Research Initiative, a federal partnership of the IES, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development NICHD, and the National Science Foundation, NSF). This had its roots in a previous IERI project he directed, Scaling Up the Implementation of a Pre-Kindergarten Mathematics Curricula: Teaching for Understanding with Trajectories and Technologies, an IERI project funded by the NSF.
Two recent research projects have just been funded by the NSF. Clements is PI on the first, Using Rule Space and Poset-based Adaptive Testing Methodologies to Identify Ability Patterns in Early Mathematics and Create a Comprehensive Mathematics Ability Test, which will develop a computer-adaptive assessment for early mathematics. Clements is co-PI on the second, Early Childhood Education in the Context of Mathematics, Science, and Literacy, developing an interdisciplinary preschool curriculum.
Previously, Dr. Clements directed several other IES and NSF projects. In Building Blocks—Foundations for Mathematical Thinking, Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2: Research-based Materials Development (http://www.buildingblocks.org), he and Julie Sarama developed mathematics software and activities, published by SRA/McGraw-Hill. The second product is a component of the research-based mathematics series Real Math, in which the Building Blocks materials will constitute the complete PreK program, and Building Blocks software will supplement all other grades, K-6. He also ran an historic, national Conference on Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten Mathematics Education (co-funded by NSF and ExxonMobil Foundation, http://www.gse.buffalo.edu/org/conference/index.htm), which resulted in a book, Clements, D. H., Sarama, J., & DiBiase, A.-M. (Eds.). (2004). Engaging young children in mathematics: Standards for early childhood mathematics education. In addition, based on the conference, he proposed and chaired a joint committee that produced a joint National Association for the Education of Young children and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) position statement on early childhood mathematics, Early childhood mathematics: Promoting good beginnings. A joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
In previous projects, he co-developed an elementary geometry curriculum based on Logo, Logo Geometry, published by Silver Burdett & Ginn. In a related NSF research project, he conducted research on the teaching and learning of geometry with and without computers resulting in Logo and Geometry, a Journal for Research in Mathematics Education monograph. He also completed two addition NSF projects with several colleagues. The first developed a K-5 mathematics curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data, and Space (published by Dale Seymour Publications). In that context, he has developed several constructivist-oriented software packages (with he and colleague Julie Sarama performing all the design, programming, and implementation), including their own version of Logo and Logo-based software activities to complement the curriculum (this software environment was also published as a stand-alone product, including activities that integrate Logo into the geometry curriculum, under the name Turtle Math™, which was awarded Technology & Learning Software of the Year award, 1995, in the category "Math"), a computer-based manipulative software environment (Shapes) and several others (Trips, Tumbling Tetrominoes). He was co-PI on “A Longitudinal study of the Effects of a Pre-Kindergarten Mathematics Curriculum on Low-Income Children’s Mathematical Knowledge,” funded by IES.
Dr. Clements is active in the NCTM, coauthored NCTM's Principals and Standards for School Mathematics and the 2006 Curriculum focal points for prekindergarten through grade 8 mathematics: A quest for coherence, and was editor and author of the NCTM Addenda (to the Standards) materials. He was chair of the Editorial Panel of NCTM's research journal, the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.