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Title: An evaluation of the new mathematics curriculum and its implementation in the Sultanate of Oman
Author: Al-Maskari, Zuwaina Saleh.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3407 1024
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2004
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The aim of this research was to evaluate the new mathematics curriculum in Oman since its introduction in 1998. The study presented is both qualitative and quantitative in approach. Comparisons are made between the 'old and new' mathematics curricular in terms of students' attainment. The impact of the new curriculum on teachers and other education professionals is explored in interviews with teachers, inspectors and the Ministry staff involved in its implementation. The outcome of the evaluation provides some pointers for action as the new curriculum is progressively introduced in all Omani schools. The development of education in Oman since 1970 is described to set out the context of the study. The development of the education system and particularly the development of mathematics education are described. Chapter one outlines the aim of the study and its importance. Theories of learning such as how children develop their thinking skills and how they learn and remember are discussed including the new ideas on teaching and learning mathematics. These ideas include collaborative learning, learning through problem solving and learning by discovery. New methods of assessment such as performance assessment and portfolio assessment are also presented. The differences between the old and the new curricula are then examined in terms of content, teaching and learning materials, teaching methods, and assessment and evaluation. Chapter four describes and explains the design and methodology of this study. Qualitative and quantitative approaches are used to produce valid information about the implementation of the new curriculum. The instrument used in the quantitative approach was an attainment test and the qualitative approach based on groups of interviews with teachers, inspectors and other educational professionals. The results from the attainment tests show that, overall, pupils in grade four (age 10) following the new curriculum performed not as well as in the achievement tests than those were taught through the old curriculum. The quantitative results also show girls performed better than boys in both curriculum groups. Evidence from the interviews shows that all the participants, (teachers, inspectors, the Ministry staff) were positive and very committed to the new mathematics programme. Teachers did, however, face many difficulties in implementing the new curriculum including teaching the content in grades three and [our, how to put into practice the cooperative learning methods, problems in using an integrated approach, and in applying the new assessment instruments. In conclusion the main findings arising from the qualitative and quantitative evidence are discussed in detail. The results of this study have several implications for teaching the new curriculum, the types and kinds of teaching materials to use, and the training programmes which would best meet the needs of teachers. On the basis of this evidence, recommendations are made to improve teaching and learning mathematics in Omani schools, It is suggested that the curriculum content and the learning objectives should be redrafted as well as revisions to the teachers guide and activity guide. There is a need to encouraged teachers to use and integrate technologies in their teaching. Effective in-service training in order to understand the new assessment and evaluation strategies is urgently needed. Particular attention should be given to new teachers. Professional trainers from the Ministry should be actively involved in in-service training in the regions. A longitudinal evaluation study should be carried out to determine the effectiveness of different learning methods on the social and affective skills of children. It would be valuable to replicate this present study nationally focused on the transition from first cycle of basic education grades (1 104) through second cycle of the Easic Education grades (5 to l O) as the results of this study do not correspond with the findings of a number of other studies in the field of teaching and learning mathematics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available