IJARP Impact Factor(2018): 4.908

International Journal of Advanced Research and Publications!

Paper Details: An Assessment Of The Sufficiency Of Mathematics Syllabus D In Preparing Learners Intending To Major In Mathematics Related Courses At University

Volume 3 - Issue 10, October 2019 Edition
[Download Full Paper]

Author(s)
Kebby Simoongwe, Patrick Azere Phiri
Keywords
Adequacy and Relevance of a Syllabus, Essential skills, Preparation of Mathematics majors, Sufficiency of Mathematics Syllabus D
Abstract
First year students enter university with low levels of mathematical competencies. There is insurmountable evidence indicating that some mathematics syllabi are not adequate. This shows seriously rippling effects for students wishing to pursue studies involving problem solving. This study aimed at investigating the sufficiency of Mathematics Syllabus D (4024) in preparing learners intending to major in mathematics related courses. The study further aimed at providing explanations for the rampant drop out of mathematics students. It also tried to find ways and means of finding solutions to the scourge. The study followed a primary data analysis and adopted an integral qualitative-quantitative approach. The research question was sub divided into two specific questions and two research hypotheses. The research targeted all the universities offering mathematics in Zambia. However, only two public universities in Kitwe district of Copperbelt province of Zambia were considered. A survey questionnaire was used for data collection. During data collection: students indicated their final grades in Syllabus D and their results from the first year sessional examinations; a 5-Point Likert Scale was completed, and an open ended question on the relevance and adequacy of the syllabus was answered. Data collected was analysed descriptively and inferentially. Chi Square methods were used to analyse quantitative data at 0.05, level of significance. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was also used. The Qualitative Data Analysis software (QDA miner Lite) was also used. The main finding was that a student’s performance at university in Mathematics differs significantly from his/her performance in Ordinary Level Mathematics. It was also established that a student’s performance in First Year University Mathematics is independent of his/her performance in Syllabus D. Furthermore, results indicated that the syllabus enhanced critical thinking and conceptual understanding. However, participants indicated that the syllabus was inadequate and needed more topics.
References
[1] ACT. (2008). ACT High School Profile Report: The Graduating Class of 2008. Retrieved From ACT website www.act,org/2008.
[2] Achieve. (2008). The Building Blocks of Success: Higher Level Math for All Students. Retrieved from www.achieve.org/mathatwork.
[3] Achieve. (2010). Achieving the Common Core: Comparing the Common Core State Standards and Singapore’s Mathematics Syllabus. Retrieved From www.achieve.org/mathatwork.
[4] Ahmed, A., & Pollitt, A. (2000). Observing Context in Action. Paper presented at The International Association for Education Assessment, Jerusalem Israel.
[5] Andrew, P.W., Clare, R., Shahab, A., Tim, D., Anita, F., & Linda, G. (2015). Students’ Mathematical Preparation: Differences in Staff and Student Perceptions. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 23(1), 82-93.
[6] Anit, M., & Fried, M.N.(2002). High Stakes Assessment as a Tool for Promoting Mathematical Literacy and Democratization of Mathematics Education. Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
[7] Blair, R.W. (1977). A Natural Approach Innovative: Innovative Approaches to Language Teaching. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
[8] Blockley, D., & Woodman, N. (2002). Civil Structural Engineers and Maths: The Changing Relationship. The Structural Engineer, 80(17), pp.14-15.
[9] Brown, G. (2009). Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines : Report to the Group of Eight Universities (Group Of Eight ).
[10] Bruner, J.S. (1960). The Process of Education. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
[11] Bruner, J.S. (1966). Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[12] Calverley.B. (2018). Mathematics. Oxford: University of Oxford.
[13] Carey, J. (2014). Ohio Mathematics Initiative: Rethinking Post Secondary Mathematics. Final Report of the Ohio Mathematics Steering Committee of Education.
[14] Christmann, A., & Van Aelst, S. (2006). Robust Estimation of Cronbach’s Alpha. Journal of Multivariate Analysis, 97(7), 1660-1674.
[15] Clausen –May, T. (2006). Reality and Context in Mathematics Test Questions. Mathematics School, 35(5), pp. 9-11.
[16] Dalby, T., Robinson., Abdulla,S., Galligan, L., Frederiks, A., Pigozo, R.S.(2013). Students’ Mathematical Preparation Part B: Students’ Perception. In 9th delta Conference of teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics and Statistics 2013: shinning the log. (pp.24-29). Nov 2013,Kiama Australia, 30-39.
[17] Driver, R., Asoka,H., Leach., Mortimer, E.,& Scott, P.(1994). Constructing Scientific Knowledge in the Classroom. Education Researcher, 23, 5-12.
[18] Engelbrecht, J. (2010). Adding Structure to the Transition Process to Advanced Mathematical Activity. Int J Math Edu Sci Technol, 41 (2) 143 154.
[19] Engelbrecht, J., Harding, A., & Phiri, P. (2010). Are OBE Trained Students Ready for University Mathematics? Paythagoras, 72, 3-13.
[20] Fennemma, E. (2000). Gender and Mathematics: What do I wish was known? Fifth Annual Forum of the National Institute for Science Education, Detroit.
[21] Galligan, L., & Hobohm, C. (2015). Investigating Student’s Academic Numeracy in 1st Level University Courses. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27 (2), 129-145.27 (2), 129-145.
[22] Green, P.J., & Winters, M.A. (2005). Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates: 1991-2002 (Education Working Paper No 08). New York, NY: Centre for Civic Innovation, In Manhattan Institute Retrieved from http://www.gobierno.pr/NR/rdonlyres/E062372C-B862-4158-A02D D29B486CCB47/0/EWP-2019pdf
[23] Horada, M. (2013). Improving Students’ College Math Readiness: A Review of the Evidence on Postsecondary Interventions and Reforms. Community College Research Centre Teachers College, Columbia University.
[24] Kajander, A., & Lovric, M. (2005). Transition from Secondary to Tertiary Mathematics: Mc Master Experience. International Journal of Mathematical Education In Science and Technology, 36(2), 149-160.
[25] King, D. & Cattlin, J. (2014). National Forum on Assumed Knowledge in Mathematics Report. Retrieved From http://www.technology.org/2014/02/11/maths-important-compusory
[26] Klen, F. (1932). Elementary Mathematics from advanced Standpoint: Arithmetic, Algebra, Analysis. Mineola, NY: Macmillan.
[27] Knapp, J. (2005). Learning to Prove in order to Prove to Learn. [Online] Retrieved from https://mathpast.la.asu.edu/~sign/issues/2005-spring/SJGM
[28] Kumar, R. (1996). Research Methodology, A Step by Step Guide for Beginners. London: Sage Publishers.
[29] Lemke, J. (1990). Taking Science: Language, Learning, and values. Ablex Publishing.
[30] Lemmens, J. (2010). Students’ Readiness for University Uducation (Unipublished Doctorial thesis). Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
[31] Lewis, D. (1998). Mathematics Instruction in the Twenty First Century. Documenta Mathematica, 5, 763-766.
[32] Makeda, B (2018). How to Learn Math for Students. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachersClassroom-qa-with-larry-perlazzo/2018.
[33] Malambo, P . (2015). Exploring Zambian Mathematics Student Teachers’ Content
[34] Knowledge of Functions and Trigonometry for Secondary Schools. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
[35] Malta. (2014). Mathematics: A Revised Syllabus for Primary Schools. Zimbabwean Primary Mathematics Support Team.
[36] Mellissa .(2013). Thoughts on Characteristics of a Good Syllabus.
[37] Ministry of Education, Ghana. (2010). Teaching Syllabus for Senior High School Elective Mathematics. Accra: Curriculum Research and Development Division.
[38] Ministry of Education, Singapore. (2012). Learning Mathematics: A 21ST Century Necessity.
[39] Ministry of Education. (1996). Educating our Future: National Policy on Education. Lusaka: Zambia Education Publishing House.
[40] Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China. (2003). Ordinary Senior Secondary: Mathematics Curriculum Standards. China: Univesity of Macau.
[41] Mullis, I.S., Martin, M.O., Goh, S., & Cotter, K. (Eds) (2016). TIMSS 2015 Encyclopadea Education Policy and Curriculum in Mathematics and Science. Retrieved from Boston College, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Centre Website. http://timssandpirls.b.c.edu/timss 2016/encyclopedia/.
[42] Mustoe, L. (2003). Foreword to Maths for Engineering and Science: Maths for Engineering and Science. LTSN Maths TEAM, PP. 2.
[43] Nathan, G. (2018). Ten Issues in Mathematics Education. New York: American Mathematics Society.
[44] National Mathematics Advisory Panel. (2008). The Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington DC: US Department of Education. Retrieved on 21/04/2008 from http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/index.html.
[45] Nkosi, B. (2013). School Mathematics is Failing Varsity Entrants. Mail and Guardian.
[46] Osokoyo, M.M (1999). Some Determinants of Secondary Students’ academic Achievement in chemistry in Oyo state. Unpublished PHD Thesis. Ibdan: University of Ibdan.
[47] Papert , S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic books.
[48] Piaget, J. (1977). The Development of Thought: Equilibration of Cognitive Structures. New York, NY: The Viking Press.
[49] Poladian, L., & Nicholas, J. (2013). Mathematics Bridging Courses and Success in FirstYear Calculus. Melbourne, Australia: University of Western Sydney.
[50] Polaki, M.V. (2002). Using Instruction to Identify Key Features of Basotho Elementary Student’ s Growth in Probablistic Thinking. Mathematical Thinking And Learning, 4, 285-313.
[51] Pyle, I. (2001). Mathematics in Schools. Engineering Science & Education Journal, 10 (5), pp. 170-171.
[52] Rylands, L., & Coads, C. (2009). Performance of Students with Weak Mathematics in First Year Mathematics and Science. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 40(6), 741-753.
[53] Sadofsky, H. (2012). What math do Students Need for College Success? Oregon: University of Oregon.
[54] Sanders, M.G. [Ed]. (2000). Schooling Students Placed at Risk: Research: policy, and Practice in the Education of Poor and Minority Adolescents. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
[55] Schoenfeld, A. H. (2000). “ Making Mathematics Work for All Children: Issues of Standards, Testing, and Equity”. Education Researcher; vol.31, No.1, pp.13-25.www.noycefdn.org/documents/making-math-work-schoenfeld.pdf
[56] Searle, J. (2004). Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme. Durham University: Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.
[57] Sfard , A. (2014). University Mathematics as a Discourse: Why, How, and What for? Research in mathematics education, 16(2) 199-203.
[58] Twigg, C.A. (2005). Increasing Success for Understanding Students: Redesigning Introductory Courses. Soratoga Springs, NY: National Centre for Academic Transformation.
[59] UNCLES (2018). Cambridge O Level Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge Assessment.
[60] Vidal Rodeiro, C.L.,& Zanini, N. (2015). The Role of A* grade at A Level as a Predictor University Performance in the United Kingdom. Oxford Review of Education, 41(5) 647-670.
[61] Vurayai, S. (2012). Poverty Penalty in Ordinary Mathematics in Rural Zimbabwe. Wudpeker Journal of Educational Research, 1(5), pp. 79-85.
[62] Weisbeck, L. (1992). Teachers’ Thought about Children during Mathematics Instruction. PHD dissertation, University of Wisconsin.
[63] Wiest, L. (2001). The Role of Fantasy Contexts in World Problems. Mathematics Education Research, Journal, 13(2), 74-90.
[64] Wilkins, D.A. (1976). Natural Syllabus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[65] Zeiger, S. (2018). Important Characteristics to Become a Good Math Teacher. Ohio: Heart Newspapers, LLC.