A study of the enacted school mathematics curriculum

Project Number
OER 31/15 BK

Project Duration
May 2016 - April 2019


The objective of this programmatic research proposal is to study the enacted school mathematics curriculum in secondary schools. Specifically it aims to examine how teachers enact their “teacher-intended” curriculum during mathematics lessons. What factors influence the teacher-intended curricula? What teaching / learning resources do they use in their lessons? How close is the “teacher-intended” curriculum to the designated curriculum of the Ministry of Education. This research is timely as it will be carried out in 2016-17, three to four years after the revised curricula for mathematics was introduced. The proposed study has two segments, a video-segment and a survey-segment. Thirty competent secondary school mathematics teachers and approximately 600 of their students will participate in the video-segment of the study. The video-segment of the study is adopting the complementary accounts methodology developed by Clarke (1998 & 2001), widely used in the study of classrooms across many countries in the world as part of the Learner’s Perspective Study (Clarke, Keitel & Shimizu, 2006) to collect data. This methodology recognizes that only by seeing classroom situations from the perspectives of teachers and students can we come to an understanding of the motivations and meanings that underlie their participation. It also facilitates practice-oriented analysis of learning. The survey-segment is adopting a self-report questionnaire. 600 secondary mathematics teachers will be surveyed about the perceived enactment of their “teacher-intended” curriculum. The design of the questionnaire is guided by i) the prominent dimensions of the enacted curriculum that are researchable viz-a-viz: the mathematics, teacher’s pedagogical moves, and the use of resources and tools; that are researchable (Remillard and Heck, 2014) and ii) the framework for school mathematics in Singapore (Ministry of Education, 2012). Findings from the video-segment of the study will contribute towards the content of the questionnaire items. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be adopted to analyse the data collected in the study. The qualitative data will be coded and both inductive and deductive approaches will be used appropriately to arrive at the codes. The findings of the study will be pertinent for colleagues in CPDD (Maths) for subsequent revision of the curricula. In addition this study about the interactions between secondary school mathematics teachers and their students will shed light on the nature of the actual mathematics learning and teaching that takes place in Singapore classrooms.

Funding Source

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