Revealed math grade three-volume one is the curriculum used in the third year of primary school Mathematics, with comprehensive content. The curriculum’s content is multiplication, where students learn multiplication using various techniques like the multiplication fact table. The curriculum uses several relevant pictures, like the picture about the multiplication table (Appendix A). Students get offered pictures to determine the odd ones and their reasons. The images may contain multiples of a number along with an outlier to get selected by the students. The curriculum uses relevant names like Cornell as examples because children are likely to memorize the names quickly. The curriculum ensures accuracy by teaching students several procedures for solving math, explaining examples and giving accurate answers. For instance, if students multiply two numbers using skip count, they can confirm their answer using the multiplication fact table method. It ensures students uphold the accuracy of their responses. The curriculum provides depth and comprehensiveness by covering many topics using big ideas. The big ideas are the essential virtual concepts to get discovered by the learners with the teachers’ help (Harlen, 2022). The big ideas ensure that student learning activities are worthwhile and use class time efficiently. Multiplication is an example that connects facts and skills and exposes the importance of multiplication. Quality gets ensured through the use of visible and relevant examples. Thus the curriculum’s content is comprehensive.
Pros and Cons
An advantage of the curriculum is that it promotes accuracy through complete explanations and examples, where the answers get confirmed using other methods. It covers several topics and concepts under one core idea, like multiplication. It is skill-oriented. The curriculum’s cons are that learning various procedures for doing the same task may confuse some students. Another disadvantage is that it does not fully match UAE’s culture. For example, it should use AED, not U.S. dollars. It should also use examples with Arabic names. A suitable recommendation is to teach students one technique and include concepts of UAE’s culture, like currency and names used.
The Taba Curriculum Model
It got founded by Hilda Taba (1902 – 1967). The model uses several processes like listing, synthesizing, grouping, re-grouping, and labelling (Appendix B) (Gulzar, 2021). The Taba model’s steps show the primary obligations of a teacher. The first step, diagnosing the learner’s needs requires the teacher to identify what skill the students lack. Step two entails formulating objectives (learning outcomes). Step three involves selecting content by identifying relevant topics, like multiplication examples. Step four involves organizing the content, from easy to difficult. Step five entails selecting the instructional methods, like off-book examples. Step six involves organizing the learning activities in a sequence depending on the nature of the learner and content. The last step entails assessing the percentage of the learning outcomes achieved. Thus the various steps of the Taba model facilitate the formulation and achievement of the learning objectives.
The curriculum supports three types of assessment from grade one to grade three: diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment. The summative assessment is done on the major subjects at the end of the nisf alsana (semester). The diagnostic assessment applies to all subjects and gets taken at the beginning of every term. The curriculum supports the UAE National Assessment Program (UAENAP) (Simpson, 2017). It applies to students in both private and public institutions and assesses the main subjects: Arabic, Mathematics, Science, and English. Diagnostic assessment evaluates the prior knowledge of the students before beginning a unit. For example, knowledge of addition, learned earlier. Formative assessments are those that get modified according to the instructor’s aims and students’ needs. For example, testing one crucial concept learnt. Thus diagnostic assessments assess prior knowledge while summative assessments assess the knowledge gained throughout the term.
Pros and Cons
Assessment helps the MOE know what areas of the curriculum need improvement by analyzing the grades. It addresses common misconceptions in multiplication, helping students maintain accurate information only. A disadvantage of the assessment is that the remedial taken by failed students affects their self-esteem negatively. Assessments may influence a culture to read and pass assessments without ensuring concept mastery (cramming). A recommendation to better the assessment system would be to integrate learner-centered and content-centered assessments.
Issue of Concern
One issue of concern is the concern for special needs learners. The fast learners can easily encourage the teacher to move at a faster pace, a disadvantage to the slow learners. The Taba model calls for the initial formulation of objectives before the learning experiences get determined. However, the model does not give conditions for the different learners’ levels to get considered. For instance, if the objectives require using various techniques for multiplication correctly by the end of the learning period, the slow learners should also be cared for in the objectives. Special needs learners pose a challenge to teachers because they have to cover the syllabus at a slow pace for the learners to catch up.
Solution of the Issue
One solution to the problem is using generally applicable learning objectives and content. The proposed solution can prove fruitful when added to the existing annual remedial programs for low-performing students (Simpson, 2017). The teacher (curriculum implementer) should have a vast knowledge of their students to determine what learning outcomes will succeed and which will not. Another solution is to use Arabic cultural concepts familiar to them. The students eventually choose what method is simple for them depending on their capacity and speed in understanding. The repetition of the main points as a summary is another step that should help special needs students understand at the same pace.
The Selected Units
The two units are Unit four and Unit Five. Unit four entails multiplication, and Unit five is division. Unit four aims at teaching: addition for multiplication, properties of multiplication by two, and the unique factors (Appendix C). Unit five’s learning objective is learning division (Appendix D). Learners also learn how to find a divisor and a dividend. The examples get organized from the simple to the more complex, meaning planning got efficiently done before preparing the teaching aids. Grouping ad pacing gets applied to ensure the unit topics align to the timeline of the term, which is 12 weeks. Students get recourses through online resources like YouTube videos and Quora discussions which supplement the coursework. The learning activities get designed by the teacher in forms like foldables and spiral review (Appendix E). The extension activates involve activities related to other courses like the digital station games. Therefore units four and five follow the steps outlined by the Taba model, thus accurately ensuring the teaching-learning process.
How the Curriculum Relates to the Students
Indeed the curriculum engages the students in using their reasoning and thinking to solve real-world problems. For instance, the questions answered by the students directly relate to the real world. Example 10 features Andre with two bags of rocks, which can get pictured by the students because it is practical (Hill, 20202, p. 53). Thus the students can handle real-world tasks because the concepts’ relation to the real world is actual. The curriculum gives students practical knowledge of the topic taught through object-oriented learning. It allows students to draw pictures to solve questions if it suits them because children understand better using photographic memory. It allows students to form their opinions regarding a topic and acquire literal thinking. As students solve mathematical problems on their own, they develop opinions regarding the subject and begin thinking independently outside the classroom.
The Purpose of the Textbook
Indeed the textbook is consistent with the Tyler and Taba models. As required by Tyler and Taba models, the textbook effectively organizes the topics (learning experiences) in a known–to–unknown manner. Students begin with simple multiplication cases and advance to more complex concepts. Taba’s and Tyler’s models call for assessment at the end of learning activities, which the textbook fulfills. The book outlines the objectives by stating the task to get accomplished as the subtopic. The stratergies outlined by the book are guided and activity-based exploration. Guided exploration is a form of learner-centered approach. It concentrates on the student’s needs (Yasar & Aslan, 2021, p. 6). The advantage is that the teacher chooses the activities engaged by the students. The latter entails exploration of concepts by students in groups through discussion. The textbook lacks materials for parents and other stakeholders but includes a letter to parents explaining how the book is beneficial to their children. The book does not give teachers mandatory instructional methods to follow. It offers various methods of solving multiplication without limiting the teacher to a specific method. It allows students to draw their images to solve questions, meaning teachers can only guide them on their drawings. A recommendation to use pictures representing the Arabic culture and texts in textbooks would help uphold the culture of the UAE.
Differentiation is present in UAE’s educational curriculum. It refers to the phenomenon where teachers teach students of varying needs and levels simultaneously (Bourini, 2015, p. 54). Teachers address differentiation by issuing different activities to students. The remedial program supported by the UAE curriculum is an example of differentiation where the students who fail take remedial programs until their grades improve.
In summary, the UAE uses a formal education system, with a curriculum designed and developed by the MOE. The Taba curriculum model expresses the curriculum as a document harboring the aims and objectives of the teaching-learning process. It comprises seven steps, and its structure is consistent with the grade three math curriculum. Special needs learners constitute a significant issue of concern in education. The highly bright students and the students with disability fall in this category. They challenge the teachers and curriculum because they create conditions for differentiation. An example is evident in the remedial program for students who fail the summative assessments.
Bourini, A. O. (2015). Differentiated instruction in the Mainstream English language Classroom in the UAE Public Secondary Schools: Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices. BSPACE. Retrieved September 23, 2022. https://bspace.buid.ac.ae/bitstream/handle/1234/792/90004.pdf?sequence=3
Gulzar, A. A. (2021). Taba model of Curriculum Development. Educare.https://educarepk.com/taba-model-of-curriculum-development.html
Harlen, W. (2022). Working towards big ideas: Implications for the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. My College. Retrieved September 25, 2022. https://my.chartered.college/impact_article/working-towards-big-ideas-implications-for-the-curriculum-pedagogy-and-assessment/
Hill, M. G. (2020). Multiplication. In Reveal math (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 46–65). essay, McGraw-Hill Education.
Simpson, B. (2017). The Assessment System in the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates. SlidePlayer. https://slideplayer.com/slide/5282483/
Yaşar, C. G., & Aslan, B. (2021). Curriculum theory: A review study. International Journal of Curriculum and Instructional Studies, 11(2), 237-260. DOI: 10.31704/ijocis.2021.012
A screenshot of relevant pictures showing the multiplication fact table.
A screenshot of Taba’s Model. The steps of Taba’s model are in descending order.
A screenshot of Unit Four. Use Patterns to Multiply by 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10.
A screenshot of Unit Five. Use Properties to Multiply by 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
A screenshot of learning activities like foldables and spiral review.