Writing Prompt: You have been asked to examine the curriculum of the subject area you expect to teach once you graduate. Re-read that curriculum with the frames of literacy presented this week: autonomous and ideological? In what ways are these two frames present in the curriculum that you examined? Which one is more prominent? Following Lihsa Almashy’s example, what changes can you do to connect the mandated curriculum to the students lives.

I aspire to be a mathematics teacher who focuses on teaching in a high school (grade 9 to grade 12). After taking mathematics 9, there are three different pathways that students can choose to follow. The pathways are: Workplace and Apprenticeship, Foundations Mathematics, and Pre-Calculus. Students who follow the  Workplace and Apprenticeship pathway focus more on the trades, whereas students who follow the pre-calculus pathway focus on university. Since there are 10, 20, and 30 level classes for each pathway, I have decided to solely look at the Mathematics 9 curriculum, however from what I have seen in the curriculums for all mathematics courses, they all seem to fall in the same frame.

The Mathematics 9 curriculum is a mixture between autonomous and ideological because it focuses on developing higher cognitive skills while still allowing students to interpret the material in their own way. The aims and goals of the curriculum focuses on a more autonomous approach for it leads to: (1) logical thinking, (2) number sense, (3) spatial sense, (4) mathematics as a Human Endeavor, whereas the mathematical processes of the curriculum (communication, connections, mental mathematics as estimation, problem solving, reasoning, visualization, and technology) focuses on an ideological approach for it allow students to interact with the material and find multiple ways to become knowledgeable with the concept (SK Ministry of Education, 2009). This curriculum is both autonomous and ideological because it allows students to explore and express their ideas in their own ways, while still focusing on developing higher cognitive skills.

I think this curriculum does a pretty good job at making connections to the students lives. Many indicators ask students to “describe situations relevant to self, family, or community … ”, which allows them to make connections between the mathematical content and their lives. There are also many opportunities in this curriculum for the teacher to create open tasks in which the students can physically solve the problem. In my Emth 300 class, we are learning to create open tasks where students are to solve problems and create understandings without much guidance or teaching at the beginning of class. When students are working to solve open tasks, they are making connections between their lives and what the task is asking. This allows students to explore different ideas and think of ways to solve the task without being given, for example, a formula or a procedure to follow. When there are open tasks being implemented into the classroom, the curriculum begins to follow the ideological frame for it allows students to make connections to their lives.

Advertisements