Saturday, July 19, 2008

Role of syllabus and curriculum

The disjunct between high school and primary school in mathematics has never been greater. Middle schools are finding it increasingly difficult to bridge students to upper school requirements and I place this problem in Western Australia at the feet of Progress maps level 3.

In primary schools I did practicum at, level three was seen as the aim for year 7. In mathematics this causes all sorts of problems. Let me give you some examples and see if you can guess what level they are.

Number Outcome
negative numbers [level 6]
reading and using decimals [level 4]
using numbers into the millions [level 4]
using percentages [level 4/5]
simple operations (+-x÷) on fractions [level 5]
money calculations [level 4]

To find the answers highlight the sections between the brackets.

If your child is in level 3 then know that your child will struggle in high school until they catch up.

If you see me coming to your school in term 4, 2008 with a 50-60 page document outlining what we need for year 6/7 and a lesson by lesson schedule - please don't stick it in the bin and say we don't have a clue, especially those using first steps. Make changes, prove us wrong. Help us improve an ever worsening position. We're just trying to create a clearer picture of what is required and the pace that needs to be travelled to cater to your high calibre students.

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