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National education in secondary mathematics: Framework and teacher training
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Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Education Research Association (APERA) Conference, Singapore, 26-28 November 2008.
National Education (NE) is a reform unique to the Singapore education system. It was first introduced in 1997 to engage the pupil's mind and heart about Singapore through the standard school subjects. Since its inception, this has been achieved mainly through lessons about Singapore history, geography, and social issues, but the incorporation of NE into Mathematics is rare. The stumbling block is the lack of suitable examples that mathematics
teachers can use, especially for topics in the secondary school mathematics curriculum.
This paper outlines a framework developed in 2003 to extend the scope of NE by including
personal experiences of the pupils and global issues that are relevant to Singapore. This extended framework provides a more holistic conception of NE, and it also highlights how mathematics can be used to understand critical issues related to the six NE messages. Examples are then created within the framework to encompass standard mathematics contents, mathematics processes, and cultural values related to mathematics. Teachers who had attended in-service courses about this NE × ME framework became more positive in their perceptions about the incorporation of NE into mathematics lessons.
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