Meeting the Challenges of Math Education

Topics: High school, Mathematics education, Secondary school Pages: 23 (3965 words) Published: July 4, 2014
BACKGROUND
Mathematics is one subject that pervades life at any age, in any circumstance. Thus, its value goes beyond the classroom and the school. Mathematics as a school subject, therefore, must be learned comprehensively and with much depth.

The twin goals of mathematics in the basic education levels are Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and/or evaluating information gathered from or generated by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning or communication as a guide to belief and action (Scriven and Paul, 1987). On the other hand, problem solving is finding a way around a difficulty, around an obstacle and finding a solution to a problem that is unknown (Polya, 1962).

These two goals are to be achieved with an organized and rigorous curriculum content, a well – defined set of high-level skills and processes, desirable values and attitudes and appropriate tools, recognizing as well the different contexts of Filipino learners.

There are five content areas in the curriculum, as adopted from the framework prepared by Philippine Council of Mathematics Teacher Educators (MATHTED) and Science Education Institute (SEI) (2010): Numbers and Number Sense, Measurement, Geometry, Patterns and Algebra and Probability and Statistics.

The specific skills and processes to be developed are : Knowing and Understanding; Estimating, Computing and Solving; Visualizing and Modeling; Representing and Communicating; Conjecturing, Reasoning, Proving and Decision-Making; and Applying and Connecting.

The following values and attitudes are to be honed as well: Accuracy, Creativity, Objectivity, Perseverance and Productivity.
We recognize that the use of appropriate tools is needed in teaching mathematics. These include manipulative objects, measuring devices, calculators and computers, Smartphones, tablet PCs and the Internet.

The framework is supported by the following underlying principles and theories: Experiential and Situated Learning, Reflective Learning, Constructivism, Cooperative Learning and Discovery and Inquiry-based Learning. The mathematics is grounded in these theories.

Fig 1. The Conceptual Framework of Mathematics Education
Bringing about the Department of Education- Division of Batac City to offer quality education to all pupils clearly requires careful planning and a vision of the future. However, the task also involves looking back and understanding the current status of the division in terms of accomplishments and achievements of the learners as well as teachers and administrators. It is only through careful analysis that we truly understand the challenges, the solutions we need and how not to repeat mistakes from the past.

Rationale
The School Year 2014-2015 of the Division of Batac City is faced with an urgent need to craft steps towards a vision of a better quality mathematics education. These steps are the point of departure for the following vision of where the division in terms of mathematics education would like to be in the next years to come. Yet, this would not be realized in an overnight. However, we make sure that every year, we move a little bit closer to our vision, recognizing that a large improvement is actually an accumulation of many smaller changes. A. Learners who will possess the 21st century numeracy and life skills – knowing and understanding, estimating, computing and solving, visualizing and modelling, representing and communicating, conjecturing, reasoning, proving and decision-making, and applying and connecting B. Math teachers who receive necessary training to improve their capabilities and be more confident in their profession C. School heads who ensure that teaching in the school takes place as it should according to the mathematics curriculum. These goals therefore focus on improving performance across the whole...
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