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  • Publication
    Open Access
    Use of real-world contexts in instructional materials designed by pre-university mathematics teachers
    (2023)
    Tan, Zheng Han Hans
    ;
    ;
    Fah, Lay Yoon
    Pre-university education in Singapore serves as a bridge between secondary and university education. Despite its importance in the Singapore education system, few studies have been conducted on Singapore pre-university mathematics. We also notice that problems in real-world contexts have been increasingly emphasized in the Singapore mathematics curriculum. In this paper, we study the infusion of real-world contexts in the design of instructional materials in a typical pre-university institution, with a focus on the topic of vectors. The real-world contexts used in the instructional materials are categorized into neutral contexts or real-life experiences, where each of these categories has their benefits. These include the potential to raise students’ awareness that mathematics can be used to solve real-world problems and explain real-world phenomena. Their alignment to the Singapore mathematics syllabus and 21st Century Competencies is also discussed.
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  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Teachers' instructional goals and their alignment to the school mathematics curriculum: A case study of the calculus instructional material from a Singapore pre-university institution
    A case study of calculus instructional material (comprising of lecture notes and tutorial practice worksheets) designed by teachers from a Singapore pre-university is presented in this paper. As textbooks have not been available for mathematics at the pre-university levels, the instructional material was a product of the teachers’ collaborative work based on their interpretation of the school mathematics curriculum. Through a study of the instructional material, the teachers’ instructional goals and their alignment to the curriculum were examined. It was clear that the instructional material was more than a mere compilation of resources for the instruction; the teachers’ effort was also in building the close connection within and across the concepts and sub-topics. The discrete parts of the content were organized under a “big idea” in the lecture notes. Anchor questions were used in the tutorial practice worksheets to facilitate students to recognize the similarity of the underlying structures of seemingly different questions. In addition to the teachers’ articulated instructional goals such as covering all the key concepts, reducing students’ cognitive load, or developing their algorithmic mastery, the study revealed the unarticulated goal as to raise the students’ cognitive growth, which could be explained by the APOS cognitive growth model. In aligning to the school curriculum, it was observed that the teachers made judgement to tap on the advantage of the spiral curriculum to advance their students’ understanding of calculus from the secondary level using a higher perspective, and to better their students’ understanding of calculus concepts in addition to focusing on algorithmic mastery. The effort to engage their students in problem-solving and the use of technology to develop higher order thinking or enhance conceptual understanding remained implicit.
    WOS© Citations 1Scopus© Citations 3  80