singapore mathematics curriculum pdf : Learning mathematics is a key fundamental in every education system that aims to prepare its citizens for a productive life in the 21st century.
As a nation, the development of a highly-skilled and well-educated manpower is critical to support an innovation- and technology-driven economy. A strong grounding in mathematics and a talent pool in mathematics are essential to support the wide range of value-added economic
activities and innovations. Many countries are paying attention to the quality of their mathematics education. The growing interest in TIMSS and PISA speaks of the global interest and importance placed on mathematics education.
singapore mathematics curriculum pdf
At the individual level, mathematics underpins many aspects of our everyday activities, from making sense of information in the newspaper to making informed decisions about personal finances. It supports learning in many fields of study, whether it is in the sciences or in business. A good understanding of basic mathematics is essential wherever calculations, measurements, graphical interpretations and statistical analysis are necessary.
The learning of mathematics also provides an excellent vehicle to train the mind, and to develop the capacity to think logically, abstractly, critically and creatively. These are important 21st century competencies that we must imbue in our students, so that they can lead a productive life and be life-long learners.
Students have different starting points. Not all will have the same interests and natural abilities to learn mathematics. Some will find it enjoyable; others will find it challenging. Some will find the theorems and results intriguing; others will find the formulae and rules bewildering. It is therefore important for the mathematics curriculum to provide differentiated pathways and choices to support every learner in order to maximise their potential.
The curriculum must engage the 21st century learners, who are digital natives comfortable with the use of technologies and who work and think differently. The learning of mathematics must take into cognisance the new generation of learners, the innovations in pedagogies as well as the affordances of technologies.
It is the goal of the national mathematics curriculum to ensure that all students will achieve a level of mastery of mathematics that will serve them well in their lives, and for those who have the interest and ability, to pursue mathematics at the highest possible level.
Mathematics is an important subject in our national curriculum. Students begin to learn mathematics from the day they start formal schooling, and minimally up to the end of secondary education. This gives every child at least 10 years of meaningful mathematics education.
About this mathematics curriculum
This document provides an overview of the curriculum. It explains the design of the curriculum from the primary to the pre-university level, and provides details of the Primary Mathematics Syllabus, including the aims, content, outcomes and the approach to teaching and learning.
This document comprises 4 chapters as described below.
Chapter 1 : provides an overview of the curriculum review, the goals and aims of the different syllabuses of the entire mathematics curriculum (primary to pre-university) as well as the syllabus design considerations across the levels.
Chapter 2 : elaborates on the Mathematics Framework which centres around mathematical problem solving. The framework serves as a guide for mathematics teaching, learning and assessment across the levels.
Chapter 3: focuses on the process of teaching and learning so as to bring about engaged learning in mathematics. It highlights the principles of teaching and phases of learning as well as the learning experiences to influence the way teachers teach and students learn so that the aims of the curriculum can be met. The role of assessment and how it can be integrated to support learning in the classroom is also highlighted in this chapter.
Chapter 4 : details the Primary Mathematics syllabuses in terms of its aims, syllabus organisation, mathematical processes, content and learning experiences.
Goals and aims
The overarching goal of the mathematics curriculum is to ensure that all students will achieve a level of mastery of mathematics that will serve them well in life, and for those who have the interest and ability, to pursue mathematics at the highest possible level.
The broad aims of mathematics education in Singapore are to enable students to:
• acquire and apply mathematical concepts and skills;
• develop cognitive and metacognitive skills through a mathematical approach to problem solving; and
• develop positive attitudes towards mathematics.
The mathematics curriculum comprises a set of syllabuses spanning 12 years, from primary to pre-university, and is compulsory up to the end of secondary education. Each syllabus has its own specific set of aims to guide the design and implementation of the syllabus.
The aims also influence the choice of content, skills as well as context to meet the specific needs of the students at the given level or course. Each syllabus expands on the three broad aims of mathematics education differently to cater for the different needs and abilities of the students.
Flexibility and choice
There are two mathematics syllabuses at the P5-6 level. Most students would offer Standard Mathematics and for students who need more time to learn, they could offer Foundation Mathematics.
There are five mathematics syllabuses in the secondary mathematics curriculum. O-Level Mathematics, N(A)-Level Mathematics and N(T)-Level Mathematics provide students from the respective courses the core mathematics knowledge and skills in the context of a broad-based education.
The more mathematically able students from the N(A) course can choose to take O-Level Mathematics in four years instead of five years. Likewise, the more able N(T) students can also offer N(A)-Level Mathematics. The variation in pace and syllabus adds to the flexibility and choice within the secondary mathematics curriculum.
At the upper secondary level, students who have the interests and abilities in mathematics may choose to offer Additional Mathematics as an elective at the O-Level or N(A)- Level. This gives students with an inclination towards and interest in mathematics the opportunity to learn more mathematics that would prepare them well for courses of study that require higher mathematics.
For students who wish to study in the Engineering-type courses at the polytechnics, Additional Mathematics will be a good grounding. The N(A)-Level and N(T)-Level Mathematics syllabuses will prepare students well for ITE courses. Students who aspire to study Mathematics or mathematics-related courses at the universities could offer H2 Mathematics, and if possible H3 Mathematics.
Learning mathematics is more than just learning concepts and skills. Equally important are the cognitive and metacognitive process skills. These processes are learned through carefully constructed learning experiences. For example, to encourage students to be inquisitive, the learning experiences must include opportunities where students discover mathematical results on their own.
To support the development of collaborative and communication skills, students must be given opportunities to work together on a problem and present their ideas using appropriate mathematical language and methods. To develop habits of self-directed learning, students must be given opportunities to set learning goals and work towards them purposefully. A classroom, rich with these opportunities, will provide the platform for students to develop these 21st century competencies.
Learning experiences are stated in the mathematics syllabuses to influence the ways teachers teach and students learn so that the curriculum objectives can be achieved. These statements expressed in the form “students should have opportunities to …” remind teachers of the student-centric nature of these experiences.
They describe actions that students will perform and activities that students will go through, with the opportunities created and guidance rendered by teachers. The descriptions are sufficiently specific to provide guidance yet broad enough to give flexibility to the teachers.
For each topic, the learning experiences focus on the mathematical processes and skills that are integral parts of learning of that topic. There are also generic learning experiences that focus on the development of good learning habits and skills such as:
Students should have opportunities to:
• take notes and organise information meaningfully;
• practise basic mathematical skills to achieve mastery;
• use feedback from assessment to improve learning;
• solve novel problems using a repertoire of heuristics;
• discuss, articulate and explain ideas to develop reasoning skills; and
• carry out a modelling project.
These learning experiences, whether they are topical or generic, are not exhaustive. Teachers are encouraged to do more to make learning meaningful and effective.
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