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especially in terms of contents and teaching method such as Nuffield Mathematics Project (NMP), Scottish Mathematics Group (SMG), and School Mathematics Project (SMP) from Britain, and School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG) from U.S.A. Nuffield Mathematics Project was launched in the year 1964 for primary school in Britain and financed by the Nuffield Foundation and support by British Education Ministry. The main aim of this project was to introduce a new approach as well as new method in teaching and learning of mathematics for primary student. This project based on Piaget learning theory which emphasized the importance of learning mathematics through concrete experience and according to the pupils level of cognitive development between the age of 6 and 12 years old. The philosophy of NMP can be explained with the following expressions: I listen, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand. In NMP, the contents of this Primary School Mathematics Syllabus was then rearranged to follow the principle such as from simple to complex, from concrete to abstract and from nearby-experiences to distance-experiences. Under Dr.Geoffrey Mathews, a team of mathematics writer was published a lot of teachers’ guide books and teaching modules for teachers. Besides, Work sheets and various learning instruments also were produced for pupils to use during group activities. NMP is a project that received a good response and successfully in achieving its objectives. NMP had become important source for others countries like Malaysia. For example, Special Project launched in Malaysia in 1970, to a large extent, adopted most of the ideas from NMP.
I am responsible to concerns of the students’ performance to face the global issues. Nowadays, roles of the teachers not only to expose the student with the contents of knowledge but the teacher should prepare the student to face the global challenge. The teachers should expose the latest technology as LCD, computer, OHP and others to the student in learning process. These exposes will prepare the student with global challenge therefore they will catch up with fast changing in our world. For me, NMP is the greatest projects that influence our mathematics curriculum. Under NMP, I am realize that primary student should be taught with concrete object because their imagination still weak and needed a lot of complex logical reasoning in order to understand about abstract object. I also should create worksheets to make my learning process more fun and interesting. I also should learn or take advice about teaching skills from experience or excellent teachers. So, I will improve my teaching skills. Scottish Mathematics Group consisted of a group of mathematics writers who successfully produced a series of nine volumes text books with title as Modern mathematics for School. The contents of this Scottish Mathematics Syllabus contained one-third of the topics in modern mathematics such as set, number system, number base, modular mathematics, transformation, inequalities, linear programming and matrix. All the topics in this syllabus are related with our daily problem. The exposure about these topics will encourage the student to apply the mathematics skills to solve daily problem through to use of linear programming, matrix and calculating method. The materials of SMG became important source in the modern Mathematics project for lower secondary schools. The syllabus in SMG was the application of mathematics skills to solve daily problem. As a teacher, I must encourage the student to explore the syllabus and relate it with their daily life. The student also should realize about their responsible as a leader or generation in future to become a balance individual.
So, they should struggle to acquire mastery and transfer the knowledge for country’s development. In my opinion, the syllabus in mathematics curriculum needs to review or recheck by Ministry of Education. Nowadays, our country becomes an advanced country and mathematics is an important subject for advanced country. So, the ministry of education must create the suitable topics in mathematics curriculum based on SMG and upgrade the contents. This syllabus in new curriculum must contain the application question, adding the contents and relate the content to the daily life. Besides that, the new textbooks must have a graphic note and show the references source such as web sites address. School Mathematics Project (SMP) also provided another sources of references to the development of mathematics syllabus in Malaysia. Under the KLSM programme, the Modern Mathematics syllabus for form 4 and form 5 was based on the contents from SMP. The series for Modern Mathematics for Malaysia Form 4 and Form 5 were modified most of the material contained in SMP. The aim of this project was to prepare a more progressive mathematics syllabus for secondary schools in Britain. This project produced SMP materials to be used as teaching aids for modern Mathematics in secondary school, various types of teaching aids and work sheets to be used in teaching and learning activities. The contents of syllabus under SMP were different from that of the elementary mathematics syllabus and the contents included set, number system, structural algebra, transformation, inequalities, linear programming, statistics, vector, matrix and probability. The text books published by the SMP received good response and were used extensively in secondary school in England. However, the contents in SMP text books were too academic and abstract. It needed a lot of complex logical reasoning in order to understand this concept.
For me, although this project achieved the aim of improving the standard of mathematics but it’s not suitable for students who are weak in mathematics. This syllabus will make a gape between the excellent student and weak student. So, I suggest that the syllabus must have the activities or methods to make the students who are weak in mathematics are easy to understand about the topics that contained in syllabus such as study group, use a ICT, show the notes in graphic organizer and others. This method will improve the student’s understanding and closed the gape between excellent and weak student. Beside that, the student also should be taken the initiatives to make a study group with their friends to discuss about knowledge. The excellent student will share and help the weak student from this activity. So, the weak student will understand about the certain topics that they cannot understand before. The student also can ask their teacher to guide their study group. School Mathematics Study Group is set up in the year 1958 in U.S.A and was initiated in Stamford University under the leadership of Professor Begel E.G. The objectives of setting up SMSG were: i. ii. iii. to evaluate the existing mathematics syllabus in primary schools. to prepare a new mathematics syllabus and learning materials for teachers and pupils. to improve the standard of mathematics so as to compete with other advanced countries.
This project carried out research to study the existing mathematics material and later, based on the research finding to prepare a more suitable new mathematics syllabus and produced a series of mathematics textbooks to be used in the American primary school. The characteristics of SMSG Project were: I. the contents of SMSG syllabus were not only widened, but in fact, the level difficulty were also raised. II. Some content in the mathematics syllabus such as geometry, set theory, negative numbers, base numbers, trigonometry and others were present in a more interesting and meaningful manner. III. The SMSG textbooks contained explanatory concept in every learning unit, and former acquired knowledge and skills were related with effective teaching approach. IV. SMSG textbooks were written in the form of activity books whereby students could learn mathematics through mathematical activities such as recording data or carrying out project work. V. SMSG project emphasized the mastering of concepts and mathematics skills with the use of exact mathematical language. Although SMSG syllabus was too academic and not suitable for students who were weak in mathematics, it could not be denied that this project was successful effort to raise the standard of mathematics in school. This project has eventually made impacts in the development of our curriculum such as KBSR level 1 mathematics textbooks presented in the form of activity books was the idea derived out of the research finding from the SMSG Project.
For the conclusion, the NMP, SMG, SMP and SMSG have eventually made a big impact in the development of our curriculum. For me, this research or project had realized me that I am responsible to use the best method for learning and teaching process. The best methods that I choose will make my learning process are more interesting and the student will understand the content that I teach them. Beside that, I will sacrifice my time or money to attend the programme for change or create a new curriculum. For overcome the fast changing national curriculum, I am prepare myself with the contents of knowledge, teaching skills, emotional quotient and others. Beside that, I also ready to use the latest technology method such as LCD, computer and others in my teaching and learning activities. Finally, our curriculum is the best of the others curriculum in the world because our curriculum were created and modified from the greatest research. The Ministry of Education must always review the curriculum to make sure our curriculum in a right way.