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The Analysis of Sequence, Continuity and Articulation in Grade 1-9 Mathematics Textbooks: The Case of Statistics and Probability
Grade 1-9 Curriculum
statistics and probability
In 2003, five themes were identified in the curriculum guidelines of Grade 1-9 Mathematics. Among them, the theme of statistics and probability were relatively unstudied in mathematical education research. Additionally, the articulation of the grade 1-9 mathematics curriculum has always been an important issue in curriculum development. For the reason, the purpose of this study was to examine the sequence, continuity, and articulation of the contents of three mathematics textbooks in the theme of statistics and probability. Based on the literature, the curriculum articulation is defined as the way in which the contents of textbooks are organized with regard to the sequence and continuity suggested by curriculum guidelines and competence indicators. This study employed methods of content analysis and the subjects of this study were Han-Lin, Kang-Xuan, and Nan-Yi mathematical textbooks which were chosen in the condition of being examined by Ministry of Education and the market share. The analysis scheme was developed based on Competence Indicators by Grade in the Mathematics Learning Area. In the processes of analysis, some strategies such as triangulation and audit trails were adopted to ensure the trustworthiness of this study. The analysis showed that the three textbooks presented appropriate sequences of concepts in the first, fourth and fifth grades. A sequence was also found within a grade; for instance, the concept of statistics graphs would start from bar graphs, complex bar graphs, and then broken-line graphs and circle graphs were introduced. In terms of continuity, when the same concept was repeated in the textbooks of different grades, the difficulty of concepts would increase by grade, and the number of the pictures would decrease by grade. The concepts of data tables were repeated often, while the graphs constructed concepts were seldom repeated. The three textbooks did not show curriculum articulation in the concepts of one or two dimension tables and constructing graphs. In addition, rather than using verbal descriptions, the three textbooks included statistical graphs and tables to explain the meanings of mathematical problems and to connect the other concepts about statistics and probability. In summary, the analysis suggested that the sequence and continuity had no direct relation with articulation in the mathematical textbooks.
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