Significant Study Essay Sample

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  • Word count: 1,261
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  • Category: mathematics

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Introduction of TOPIC

This study aims to propose an intervention program covering the secondary mathematics subject. The academe, both faculty and students, shall benefit through having a guided program to increase the quality of the mathematics teaching-learning process. administrators and the university itself will also benefit once the proposal had been approved, executed and positively assessed, producing competent students, thus encouraging more patrons who seek for quality education. This study may also be a basis and reference for future researches and researches .The new curricula are organized in three strands of objectives: knowledge, abilities and attitudes/values. According to those we interviewed at the Ministry, one of the major aims was definitively the improvement of the attitudes of the students towards mathematics. The new curricula suggested a more intuitive approach to the mathematical concepts, with emphasis in graphical representations and real world situations. Other new features included the introduction of probability and statistics from an earlier grade level and a greater attention to geometry. In terms of teaching methodologies, the use of calculators was recommended from grade 7 on and some attention was given to active methodologies and group work.

The new discipline of quantitative methods was ment for students of humanistic areas who did not have formerly mathematics in their plan of studies. The content was (a) logic and complex and real numbers, (b) statistics, combinatorics, and probability, and (c) functions. Its main purpose was, according to the offical documents, to give students tools and ideas seen as “required for an integration in social and economical activity”, and also as “necessary for the development of a dynamic thinking structure ”Since the subject matter of the experimental curricula underwent significant changes regarding the present content, the students involved in this experience forgot their textbooks.

They used as their main study source support materials provided by the Ministry of Education, eventually complemented by other materials made by the teachers themselves. The experimenting teachers had 3 hours of reduction in their weekly working load (which is 22 hours for beginning teachers). They were supported by a small group of accompanying teachers ,especially created by the Ministry to assist this experience. The parents and the students were informed in the beginning of the school year that the school would be using a new curriculum. It was possible to transfer a student to a different school, not in the experience, but only a very small number opted for doing so. The research team was composed by the authors of the present paper. None of us had so far a close relation either with this experience or with this school. However, we were generally critical of what we considered to be the absence of clear orientations in the new curriculum proposals.

Methodology This study is descriptive/ action research which employed both documentary analysis and questionnaire. It was conducted in the Sta. T

eresa College, Bauan, Batangas based on related studies done. The researchers used the result of the

four by year-level-studies done which focused on the perceived attitudes of the student’s teaching skills which includes instructional, mystery and communication skills. as a part of a single department, the other researches allowed the proponents of this study to use the results and other data needed from their researches to help come up with this one. Topics in the new 7th grade curriculum were: numbers and variables, proportionality, similarity, rational numbers, statistics, solids, triangles, quadrilaterals and equations. The 10th grade proposal included: numbers, algebraic expressions, analytical geometry, trigonometry, functions and derivatives, statistics, and probability. The study had three main phases. The first phase, preparation, included the formulation of research questions, the planning of field work (with the elaboration of interview and observation guides and of criteria for selection of informants), the outline of the final report, and a first contact with the field.

The second phase included the conduction of field work and the third was devoted to writing the research report. The methodological approach and the field activities were strongly influenced by an interpretive conception of educational research, A detailed plan of activities was designed from the earlier beginning. It specified the actions to be carried out, the responsibilities of each of the members of the research team, and the approximate completion dates. Data was collected for this study through interviews (which were audio-taped and later transcribed), observations and documental analysis. A number of people was interviewed, including teachers, administrators, Ministry officials and nineteen students, who were interviewed in groups.

Each group had at least two boys and two girls and two high and two low achieving students. The selection, based in these criteria, was made jointly by the teachers and the researchers. Observations were also made of classes (three at 7th and two at 10th grade) and of other school activities. Documental analysis was made of the text of the new curricula, the materials produced by the Ministry and by the teachers, the reports of the accompanying teachers, and other school documents. The field work was conducted in groups of two researchers (with one group focusing on 7th and another on 10th grade) and amounted to 130 hours. The research team had the cooperation of three assistants who transcribed about 50 hours of audio-taped material.

Overview of the Curriculum Experience
This experience had many components, including the selection of the participating schools, the elaboration of the new curriculum documents and their transmission to the schools, the preparation by teachers of the classroom implementation, regular classroom and interdisciplinary activities, the provision of ongoing support for the participation of the schools in the experience, and the feedback to the curriculum authors to make the appropriate revisions. In this paper, as we are especially concerned with the students reactions, attention is focused on the classroom and interdisciplinary activities. Despite our initial skepticism, the closer contact with the actual school practice made clear to us that some innovative activities were taking place in the schools. Classroom work. In the absence of textbooks, students made wide use of their own notebooks. The 7th grade classes were mostly structured around worksheet based activities (containing exercises, conceptual questions, and problems).

They were carried out in pairs, but sometimes also in groups of four students, followed by discussions on the blackboard involving the general participation of the class. Students used the calculator naturally, when it was relevant for the task in hand. The 10th grade class tended to be structured around the discussion conducted by the teacher. The main conclusions were written on the blackboard and then readly copied down by the students to their notebooks. It was quite noticeable that one of the teachers highly valued extra classroom activities, which very often were called to the discussion.In the quantitative methods class there was little discussion. It was essentially based worksheet activities, most of which were computational exercises requiring the use of the calculator, with the students working in groups of four in a very relaxed atmosphere. The teacher circulated in the class attending to requests from groups or individual students .Overall, we witnessed a great variety of classroom activities, depending on the grade level and also on the teachers’ styles. Even so, some common differences can be noted regarding traditional mathematics teaching: much more use of technology than usual, more attention to relations of mathematics and the real world, and in some cases more group work and mor exploratory activities.

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