Reasoning Mind Genie 2: An Intelligent Tutoring System as a Vehicle for International Transfer of Instructional Methods in Mathematics

In IJAIED 24 (3)

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Effective mathematics teachers have a large body of professional knowledge, which is largely undocumented and shared by teachers working in a given country’s education system. The volume and cultural nature of this knowledge make it particularly challenging to share curricula and instructional methods between countries. Thus, approaches based on knowledge engineering—designing a software system by interviewing human experts to extract their knowledge and heuristics—are particularly promising for cross-cultural curriculum implementations. Reasoning Mind’s Genie 2 system demonstrates the viability of such an approach, bringing elements of Russian mathematics education (known for its effectiveness) to the United States. Genie 2 has been adopted on a large scale, with around 67,000 United States students participating in the 2012–2013 school year. Previously published work (some of it in peer reviewed articles and some in non-peer-reviewed independent evaluations) has associated Genie 2 with high student and teacher acceptance, increases in test scores relative to “business as usual” conditions, high time on task, and a positive affective profile. Here, we describe for the first time the design, function, and use of the Genie 2 system. Based on this work, we suggest general principles—which collectively represent a proposed methodology—for the design of intelligent tutoring systems intended for cross-cultural transfer of curriculum and instructional methods.