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Joel Reyes Noche Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Ateneo de Naga University Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines February 24, 2009

Abstract The Philippines has one primary and one secondary curriculum in mathematics. Singapore has one mathematics curriculum for the ﬁrst four primary years, two mathematics curricula for the last two primary years, and three mathematics secondary curricula.

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Summary: Philippines

In the Philippines, primary education lasts six years and secondary education lasts four years [Dep02a].

According to the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Elementary Basic Education Curriculum [Dep02a] (and also [Dep02b]), • Grades 1 and 2 include the study of whole numbers, addition and subtraction, basic facts of multiplication and division, basic concepts of geometry, fractions, metric and local measurements, the use of money, and the application of these concepts to practical problems based on real life activities. • Grades 3 and 4 deal with the study of whole numbers, the four fundamental operations, fractions and decimals including money, angles, plane ﬁgures, measurement and graphs. • Grades 5 and 6 learners are expected to have mastered the four fundamental operations of whole numbers, performed skills in decimals and fractions, and learned the meaning of ratio and proportion, percent, integers, simple probability, polygons, spatial ﬁgures, measurement and graphs. Simple concepts in algebra are also introduced but will be articulated in high school. According to the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Secondary Basic Education Curriculum [Dep02a] (and also [Bur02]), • First Year is Elementary Algebra. It deals with life situations and problems involving measurement, real number systems, algebraic expressions, ﬁrst degree equation and inequalities in one variable, linear equations in two variables, special products and factoring. • Second Year is Intermediate Algebra. It deals with systems of linear equations and inequalities, quadratic equations, rational algebraic expressions, variation, integral exponents, radical expressions, and searching for patterns in sequences (arithmetic, geometric, etc.) as applied in real-life situations. • Third Year is Geometry. It deals with practical application to life of the geometry of shape and size, geometric relations, triangle congruence, properties of quadrilaterals, similarity, circles, and plane coordinate geometry.

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The Guidelines [Dep02a] are silent on what mathematics are taught in the fourth year of secondary school. However, the Operations Handbook in Mathematics [Bur02] states: • Fourth Year is still the existing integrated (algebra, geometry, statistics and a unit of trigonometry) spiral mathematics but in school year 2003–2004 the graduating students have the option to take up either Business Mathematics and Statistics or Trigonometry and Advanced Algebra.

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Summary: Singapore

In Singapore, primary education lasts six years, the ﬁrst four of which are called the foundation stage, and the last two of which are called the orientation stage [Min08, p. 5]. Secondary education lasts 4 to 5 years (4 years for those in the Express course, 5 years for those in the Normal (Academic) course, and 4 years in the Normal (Technical) course) [Min08, p. 8]. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1: Primary and secondary education in Singapore (taken from [Min08] and modiﬁed)

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The following is a list of topics and sub-topics in the 2007 Mathematics (Primary) Syllabus [Min06a] for the foundation stage: • Primary 1: whole numbers (numbers up to 100, addition and subtraction, mental calculation, multiplication and division), measurement (length and mass, time, money), geometry (basic shapes, patterns), data analysis (picture graphs) • Primary 2: whole numbers (numbers up to 1000, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, mental calculation), fractions (fractions of a whole, addition and subtraction), measurement (length, mass, and volume, time, money), geometry (2-D and 3-D ﬁgures, patterns, line, curve, and surface), data analysis (picture graphs) • Primary 3: whole numbers (numbers up to 10 000, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, mental calculation), fractions (equivalent fractions, addition and subtraction), measurement (length, mass, and volume, time, money, area and perimeter), geometry (perpendicular and parallel lines, angles), data analysis (bar graphs) • Primary 4: whole numbers (numbers up to 100 000, multiplication and division, factors and multiples), fractions (mixed numbers and improper fractions, addition and subtraction, fraction of a set of objects, multiplication), decimals (decimals up to 3 decimal places, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division), measurement (time, money, area and perimeter), geometry (perpendicular and parallel lines, angles, rectangle and square, symmetry, tessellation), data analysis (tables, line graphs) Depending on the ability of the student, mathematics for the orientation stage is oﬀered in two levels: standard and foundation [Min08, p. 4]. For standard level students, the topics and sub-topics in the Syllabus [Min06a] are: • Primary 5: whole numbers (numbers up to 10 million, four operations, order of operations), fractions (concept of fraction as division, four operations), decimals (four operations), percentage, ratio, measurement (length, mass, and volume, area of triangle, volume of cube and cuboid), geometry (angles, triangle, parallelogram, rhombus, and trapezium), data analysis (average of a set of data) • Primary 6: fractions (four operations), percentage, ratio, speed (distance, time, and speed), measurement (area and circumference of circle, area and perimeter of composite ﬁgure, volume of cube and cuboid), geometry (geometrical ﬁgures, nets), data analysis (pie charts), algebra (algebraic expressions in one variable) For foundation level students, the topics and sub-topics in the Syllabus [Min06a] are: • Primary 5 Foundation Mathematics: whole numbers (numbers up to 10 million, four operations, mental calculation, factors and multiples, order of operations), fractions (concepts of fractions, equivalent fractions, mixed numbers and improper fractions, four operations), decimals (decimals up to 3 decimal places, addition and subtraction), measurement (length, mass, and volume, time, area and perimeter, volume of cube and cuboid), geometry (perpendicular and parallel lines, angles, rectangle and square), data analysis (tables, bar graphs, line graphs, average of a set of data) • Primary 6 Foundation Mathematics: fractions (concept of fraction as division, division), decimals (multiplication and division), percentage, measurement (area of triangle, area and perimeter of composite ﬁgure, volume of cube and cuboid), geometry (triangle, angles in geometric ﬁgures), data analysis (pie charts) The 2007 Mathematics (Secondary) Syllabus [Min06b] is composed of three sections: O Level, N(A) Level, and N(T) Level, which most likely correspond to the Express, Normal (Academic), and Normal (Technical) courses, respectively. The topics and sub-topics in the O Level syllabus are: • Secondary 1: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, ratio, rate, and proportion, percentage, speed, algebraic representation and formulae, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations and inequalities), geometry and measurement (angles, triangles, and polygons, mensuration), statistics and probability (data handling) 3

• Secondary 2: numbers and algebra (ratio, rate, and proportion, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations, set language and notation), geometry and measurement (congruence and similarity, Pythagoras’s theorem, mensuration), statistics and probability (data analysis, probability) • Secondary 3/4: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, functions and graphs, solutions of equations and inequalities, applications of mathematics in practical situations, matrices), geometry and measurement (congruence and similarity, properties of circles, trigonometry, mensuration, coordinate geometry, vectors in two dimensions), statistics and probability (data analysis, probability) In addition, the following topics and sub-topics are found in a section called “O Level Additional Mathematics” [Min06b]: • Secondary 3/4 Additional: algebra (quadratic equations and inequalities, indices and surds, polynomials, simultaneous equations in two unknowns, partial fractions, binomial expansions, exponential, logarithmic, and modulus functions), geometry and trigonometry (trigonometric functions, identities, and equations, coordinate geometry in two dimensions, proofs in plane geometry), calculus (diﬀerentiation and integration) The topics and sub-topics in the N(A) Level syllabus [Min06b] are: • Secondary 1: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, ratio, rate, and proportion, percentage, speed, algebraic representation and formulae, algebraic manipulation), geometry and measurement (angles, triangles, and polygons, mensuration), statistics and probability (data handling) • Secondary 2: numbers and algebra (ratio, rate, and proportion, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations and inequalities), geometry and measurement (angles, triangles, and polygons, congruence and similarity, mensuration), statistics and probability (data analysis, probability) • Secondary 3/4: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations, applications of mathematics in practical situations), geometry and measurement (congruence and similarity, properties of circles, Pythagoras’s theorem and trigonometry, mensuration, coordinate geometry), statistics and probability (data analysis, probability) In addition, the following topics and sub-topics are found in a section called “N(A) Level Additional Mathematics” [Min06b]: • Secondary 3/4 Additional: algebra (quadratic equations and inequalities, indices and surds, polynomials, simultaneous equations in two unknowns, binomial expansions), geometry and trigonometry (trigonometric functions, identities, and equations, coordinate geometry in two dimensions), calculus (diﬀerentiation and integration) The topics and sub-topics in the N(T) Level syllabus [Min06b] are: • Secondary 1: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, ratio, percentage, algebraic representation and formulae), geometry and measurement (angles, triangles, and quadrilaterals, mensuration), statistics and probability (data handling) • Secondary 2: numbers and algebra (rate, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations), geometry and measurement (angles, triangles, and quadrilaterals, congruence, similarity, and transformations, Pythagoras’s theorem, mensuration), statistics and probability (data analysis, probability), integrative contexts • Secondary 3/4: numbers and algebra (numbers and the four operations, ratio and proportion, algebraic manipulation, functions and graphs, solutions of equations), geometry and measurement (congruence, similarity, and transformations, symmetry, tessellations, and projections, Pythagoras’s theorem and trigonometry, mensuration), statistics and probability (data analysis), integrative contexts

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Summary of Diﬀerences

Perhaps the most striking diﬀerence between the mathematics curricula of the Philippines and that of Singapore is that the Philippines has only one primary curriculum and one secondary curriculum while Singapore has more than one of each, where the choice of which depends on the students’ abilities or interests. Also noticeable is the ﬁfth year in secondary school for those taking the Normal (Academic) course in Singapore. (For ease in discussion, the terms “Grade” and “Year” refer here to Philippine primary and secondary education, respectively, and the terms “Primary” and “Secondary” refer to that of Singapore.) In primary school, the Philippines has some topics earlier in the curriculum than Singapore [Dep02b, Min06a]. For example, • The ranges of whole numbers covered per year are larger in the Philippines than in Singapore (Grade 1: 900, Primary 1: 100; Grade 2: 9000, Primary 2: 1000; Grade 3: 900 000, Primary 3: 10 000; Grade 4: “millions and billions,” Primary 4: 100 000; Grade 5: (review); Primary 5: 10 million). • Fractions are introduced in Grade 1 and in Primary 2. • Roman numbers are discussed in Grades 2 and 3, but are not part of the primary (or the secondary) curriculum of Singapore. • Tessellations and symmetry are discussed in Grades 2 and 3 and in Primary 4. • Calculator use is introduced in Grade 3 and in Primary 5. • The circumference and the area of a circle are discussed in Grade 5 and in Primary 6. Singapore has some topics earlier in the primary curriculum than the Philippines [Dep02b, Min06a]. For example, • Picture graphs (pictographs) are covered in Primary 1 and 2 and in Grade 3; bar graphs in Primary 3 and in Grade 4; and line graphs in Primary 4 and in Grade 5. • Shapes are ﬁrst discussed in Primary 1 and in Grade 2. • Addition of fractions begins in Primary 2 and in Grade 4. The primary and secondary curricula of Singapore have a “spiral design,” where “each topic is revisited and introduced in increasing depth from one level to the next” [Min06a, p. 4]. This is the main diﬀerence between the secondary curricula of the two countries. Thus, in the Philippines, many topics in Algebra (such as systems of two linear equations and quadratic equations) are taught earlier than in Singapore, while many topics in Geometry (such as triangles and Pythagoras’s theorem) are taught later [Bur02, Min06b]. I currently do not have a copy of the Department of Education mathematics curriculum for Year 4, so I am unable to do further comparisons. Let me just note that there are topics in the Singapore secondary curricula that are not in the ﬁrst three years of the Philippine secondary curriculum (topics in statistics and probability, trigonometry, and sometimes some calculus) [Bur02, Min06b].

References

[Bur02] Bureau of Secondary Education, Department of Education, Philippines. Operations Handbook in Mathematics: 2002 Basic Education Curriculum Secondary Level, 2002.

[Dep02a] Department of Education, Philippines. The 2002 Basic Education Curriculum, August 29, 2002. Order no. 43, s. 2002.

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[Dep02b] Department of Education, Philippines. Handbook in Mathematics: 2002 Basic Education Curriculum Elementary Level, 2002. [Min06a] Ministry of Education, Singapore. 2007 Mathematics (Primary) Syllabus, 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2009, from http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/syllabuses/sciences/files/maths-pri mary-2007.pdf. [Min06b] Ministry of Education, Singapore. 2007 Mathematics (Secondary) Syllabus, 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2009, from http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/syllabuses/sciences/files/maths-sec ondary.pdf. [Min08] Ministry of Education, Singapore. Education in Singapore, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from http://www.moe.gov.sg/about/files/moe-corporate-brochure.pdf.

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