Curriculum refers to the program stipulated to be followed in a particular class to enable the students to have a complete comprehension of the subjects (Kelly, 2012). Usually, the curriculum is created and brought to the attention of the teachers by the publishers and experts in the content area. It is typically a team job where various experts come together to offer the way forward on how teaching should be done chronologically for the benefit of the students. The curriculum is based on all disciplines that students can pursue. It ranges from elementary subjects to much higher ones like those offered in higher education centres. Curriculum drives the way teachers should organize their work to ensure the best training to give the learners (Bobbitt, 2013). It is, therefore, an obligation that curriculum should be followed. However, so often the teachers tend to modify the curriculum to the best knowledge to offer the proper understanding of the concept. It happens at the department level where the teachers in a particular field decide to change one or two topic pattern in the teachings. Above all curriculum provides a proper understanding to vital for the student to understand the concept properly. This paper focuses on explaining the evaluation of the effectiveness of nine-grade mathematics curriculums and critiques the principles of backward design and standard-based curriculum design models applicable in this curriculum.
The ninth grade mathematics curriculum involves the advanced mathematics that the students enroll in. In the United States, the students are expected to enroll for mathematics up to fourth grade where advancing is an optional priority one can take. Ninth grade mathematics involves pre-Algebra, algorithms, Geometry, Trigonometry, and pre-calculus (Dunn, Allen & Goldthwaite, 1929). This curriculum intends that:
a) To deepen learning in students: The curriculum is tailored towards the ensuring that the student has a deeper understanding of what is being taught. This is achieved through various ways. The curriculum is organized in a chronological flow so that what is being taught is done in an organized manner. The student finds an opportunity to figure out the math problems since every step is taught clearly and in appropriate order as stipulated by the curriculum. The curriculum is in place to ensure that the students can know what is expected of them in the certain topic of the mathematics. For example, the curriculum creates awareness to the students that by the end of the trigonometry lesson, they should be able to calculate and compute as well as measure three dimensional figures and carry out the computation needed (Kelly, 2012). In fact, the curriculum calls for a single topic being taught in depth than many issues done in un-organized manner. This ensures that the students are in the position to have a deeper understanding of what is shown. Through the enhanced understanding achieved, it becomes easy for the students to remember what was learned and even apply it in real life later.
b) To support the learners gain core information that is necessary for carrier profession. The ninth grade mathematics curriculum focuses that at the end of the training, the student needs to be competent in the areas of study (Dunn, Allen & Goldthwaite, 1929). The information that was delivered logistically by the teachers should have a permanent effect on their operation and the way they practice in the future. The competence should span in the area of the study given in classes. To assess the competence, the curriculum is equipped with various assignments and examination that these students need to undertake. The examination focuses on what was taught and evaluate the level of understanding of the students. Those who can have the in-depth knowledge of the content of the curriculum are characterised by the excellent performances in the assessment modules as demanded by the curriculum. The curriculum also finds to test the competence of the students in each section done by having a set of question that student should attempt (Kelly, 2012). Good performance shows that the learner was able to gain the core information since the tests and assignment are focused on assessing the level of understanding of the core information in the unit. For example, after a complete stipulated curriculum on Statistics offered in the ninth grade mathematics curriculum, the assessment is on how the learners can understand the analysis of the statistical data through determination of the variance, standard deviation, data relationship, as well as probability. The tests guide the learner to be able to know more about how to handle such assessment using the knowledge obtained during learning. The curriculum supports the learner in the development of the core competence in the area of study.
The fundamental concepts that are achieved from the ninth grade mathematics curriculum include:
i) Reasoning ability to be able to solve problems using rational and irrational numbers
ii) The application of measurement know-how to 2 and three dimension figures
iii) Solving the problems related to triangles and geometrical formulas to solve area and circumference
iv) Implementation of linear, quadratic, polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and rational functions
The curriculum is useful in ensuring that the intended outcome is achieved (Kelly, 2012). The curriculum is straight to the point providing that everything is in order. It is helpful towards ensuring that the expected result is obtained by:
a) The curriculum incorporates all the information that the student needs to accomplish at the end of a specified period. For example, the ninth grade mathematics has Statistics that according to the curriculum requires the student to be taught on the statistical relations, probability and scattered graphs. The necessary information in the curriculum set is also provided to ensure that is, the student is being taught on probability; he or she is bombarded with all necessary information required about probability. The curriculum ensures that the student gets the information needed by even exposing them to some of the case scenarios in the real world. The distribution of the people in various demographic locations is mostly used in the teaching of the scattered graph using the demographic statistical data. Relating the lesson learnt in class to the application helps the learners be able to comprehend all the necessary information to guide towards attaining the intended objectives of the curriculum (Hopkins, 1934).
b) The curriculum has everything arranged in order from the most important and easy one to the multiplex section (Dunn, Allen & Goldthwaite, 1929). This improves the ability of the curriculum to be able to ensure proper understanding among the learners. Like in the case of trigonometry, the curriculum starts with easy parts that the learner is familiar with and uses them to teach the complex aspects and formulas. Before the learner is exposed to complex formulas and calculation of intricate shapes, they are taught on the natural forms and slowly introduced into the much complex shapes. This chronological flow of information makes the curriculum effective in delivering the intended outcome. Assuming in a scenario where the curriculum is not there, it will be difficult for the learning to be in order and this reduced the desired level of understanding. The proper flow guided by the ninth grade curriculum ensures that the students have deeper knowledge of what is being taught.
c) The curriculum provides effectiveness in the intended outcome by exposing the students towards problems that need to be solved critically (Bobbitt, 2013). The tasks that are encompassed in the curriculum help the student develop thinking and problem-solving ability. Similarly, the exercises are the guard on the basis that the student will be able to remember what was learned. For example, on algebra, the curriculum has questions that students need to answer in each section and the end of the topic. These questions allow the student to remember what they have learnt in algebra. If one does not remember, then re-visitation of the content is expected to grasp where the content is the deficit. At the end of it all, the learner will be in the position to master the core concepts needed in the unit and thus adheres to the intended outcome of the curriculum. The tests help the student identify the weakness and where they have not understood so that they can revisit and grasp what is needed.
Ineffectiveness arises when:
i) The students fail to take engage entirely with the curriculum. This makes the intended objectives to be null and void as they will not be in the position to understand what is being taught and even apply it.
ii) The teachers do not follow the curriculum to the latter. For example, the teacher underestimating easy computation associated with trigonometry and starts teaching the complicated calculation and formula. This will make the student lack the basic understanding and yet it is very crucial for the proper understanding of the complex formula in trigonometry. It, therefore, does not favor the attaining desired outcome from the curriculum (Dunn, Allen & Goldthwaite, 1929).
iii) Unavailability of resources also points towards ineffectiveness of the curriculum. Without resources, necessary such as enough of the curriculum books for everyone and aiding material for teaching will reduce the effectiveness of the desired outcome. For example, when the curriculum is not easily accessible, the learning process will not be in order, and thus the intended result will not be achieved.
The curriculum adheres to the curriculum principles since it is arranged in order and a proper sequence (Bobbitt, 2013). This provides order in the way the content of the curriculum is delivered to the learners. The order of the curriculum ensures that the student has the proper understanding of information is delivered in chronological order (Grant, 2006). For example, the curriculum has Statistics as a topic to be studied. This topic starts with what the students are aware of and uses this information to teach more demanding statistical computation.
The curriculum has the outcome that the student should have achieved at once all the content has been delivered (Grant, 2006). For example, in Algebra, the learner is expected to comprehend and solve equations such as linear equations. This being the outcome desired, the topic is scheduled in a way that it ensures that the information necessary to accomplish the result expected is provided. It is by integrating the formula to help solve and understand the linear equation. By doing this, the curriculum does adhere to the curriculum design principles
The curriculum also adheres to curriculum design principles by having the section of exercises that assess the learners understanding on the content (Kelly, 2012). The available tests ensure that the learner is graded based on demonstration of the mastering of the content needed in the curriculum.
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