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Purpose: There are mathematical behaviors in all levels from the preschool education to higher education programs. These behaviors are in mathematics curriculum as objectives.
Elementary Mathematics (68th grades) curriculum was developed in 2005 at last and applied gradually from the 6th grade in 20062007 academic year. Thematic approach was considered in regulating context in new mathematics curriculum and determined learning domains and sub learning domains.
Some subjects were taken out and some new subjects were added in developing program studies. Patterns and relations in integers, translation, tessellations, structural drawings, transformation geometry, fractals, geometric movements, histogram, kinds of probability, standard deviation, combination, perspective drawings, intersections of objects, polyhedral objects, symmetries of geometric objects are some new subjects in mathematics (68th grades) curriculum. Patterns and relations in integers and special number patterns are in Patterns and Relations in Algebra learning domain, translation, reflection, rotation, geometric movements and symmetries of geometric objects, tessellations and fractal, structural drawings, intersections of objects and polyhedral objects are in Geometry learning domain, histogram, kinds of probability, standard deviation, combination are in Probability and Statistics learning domain.
The purpose of this study was to determine mathematics teachers’ opinions and qualifications about new sub learning domains in elementary mathematics (68th grades) curriculum.
The descriptive survey method was used in the study. The work group of the study consists of 27 mathematics teachers from primary schools in Tekirdağ.
Data were collected by a questionnaire which has been developed by the researchers. The questionnaire has 9 openended and 17 closeended questions. Openended questions were used to determine mathematics teachers’ views about new sub learning domains were suitable or not for these grades. Closeended questions were used to determine mathematics teachers’ views about their qualifications about new sub learning domains. Given that the mathematics teachers were asked to explain whether they were qualified about new sub learning domains or not, four choices were offered to the teachers: “Completely qualified”, “Qualified”, “Partially qualified” and “None qualified”. Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze data.
Results: This study has shown that mathematics teachers have generally positive opinions about new sub learning domains in elementary mathematics (68th grades) curriculum. But some teachers thought standard deviation in Measures of Central Tendency sub learning domain and perspective drawings in Projection sub learning domain were difficult for these grades.
According to the results of the study, mathematics teachers thought that they were qualified for these new sub learning domains, generally. But some teachers thought they were partially qualified or none qualified for structural drawings, polyhedral objects, perspective drawings, standard deviation, special number patterns, fractal etc.
Discussion: The results of this study indicate that new sub learning domains in elementary mathematics curriculum are generally appropriate for students according to mathematics teachers. However, there are some topics which few teachers have negative opinions by indicating reasons why they have these opinions, while majority of teachers have positive opinions about. For example; the difference between histogram and bar graph has not yet understood by some mathematics teachers. Another example is that the topics of patterns and tessellations sub learning domain are found unnecessary by some mathematics teachers.
Generally, it is has seen that teachers who have more than twentyyear experience have negative opinions about new curriculum. As a reason for this, it can be claimed that these teachers have difficulty to adapt to a new understanding of the system because of training for many years according to traditional understanding of education. Another difficulty can be using tools and technologies, because of the new topics in the curriculum require visualization.
The majority of the teachers feel themselves "completely qualified" or "qualified", while a small portion of the self feels "partially qualified" that can be identified as shown by the results of the research. However, it does not change the fact that the study group of teachers that constituted this study they find themselves none qualified on topics such as structure drawings, polyhedral objects, perspective drawings, standard deviation calculations, special number patterns, and fractals.
Conclusion: This study has shown that teachers generally have positive opinions about new sub learning domains in elementary mathematics (68th grades) curriculum and they think that they have qualified pedagogical content knowledge to teach these domains. The Ministry of Education and researchers can be offered as follows: The Ministry of Education should organize inservice training about understanding and teaching new sub learning domains in mathematics curriculum. In addition, mathematics course hours can be increased and the mathematics classes which include all mathematics materials can be arranged. The contents of courses in education faculties should be overviewed by means of teaching new subjects. It should be determined mathematics teachers’ opinions qualifications about new other subjects in other grades’ mathematics curriculum.
