Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Comparison of the Development of Elementary Mathematics Curriculum Studies in Turkey and the U.S.A

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Comparison of the Development of Elementary Mathematics Curriculum Studies in Turkey and the U.S.A

Article excerpt


This article comparatively examines elementary mathematics curriculum development studies carried out in Turkey and the US in terms of their curriculum development perspectives and approaches. In the first section, curriculum development studies and their impacts on the Turkish educational system have been discussed. The second section began with the reform movements following the publication of the NCTM Standards in the US. Then three curriculum development projects based on the NCTM standards were examined in detail. Finally, these three projects and the new Turkish mathematics curriculum were comparatively evaluated on the basis of the methods and approaches used by the official organizations of Turkey and the US in both.

Key Words

Mathematics Education, Elementary Education, Curriculum Development.

The Development of Mathematics Curriculum in Turkey

The new elementary mathematics curriculum prepared by the Council of Educating and Training (CET) has been affected mainly by the England, the U.S.A, Singapore, and Ireland curriculums. However, the prior aim of this study was to bring up how curriculum development studies are constructed in Turkey and the US.

In the historical period, curriculum development studies in Turkey are constructed with a centralist approach. The 80s was a new period in which there were essential searches on curriculum development. In 1982, curriculum development studies were performed by the Ministry of Education with the collaboration of academicians from different universities. The program model, which was formed as a result of these studies, was accepted in 26.05.1983 with 2142 reference number and published in the Ministry of Education Journal. Since there was no limitation on the program model, many curriculum programs with different content, process, and assessment models were appeared (Gözütok, 2003). To overcome this situation, the Curriculum Specialization Commission gathered new working groups for 12 courses in 1990. But they could not establish a standard for mathematics curriculum (Demirel, 1999; MEB, 1996).

When coming to the 90s, a new program model which was established with the Improving National Education Project and developed by the Center of Educational Research and Development (CERS) has occurred (EARGED, 1995). Compared to the 1983 model, the model developed by the CERS designated every step of the curriculum development process more clearly (Büyükkaragöz, 1997). According to the model, curriculum process was started by the CET. During the process, objectives of the curriculum development, the members of the commission, time schedule, and methods and principals are determined (Yildirim, 1994).

In order to obtain the goals of the Improving National Education Project, the Ministry of Education established Curriculum Laboratory Schools in 1994. Total 208 schools in each grade level from 23 cities at seven geographical regions were selected as pilot schools (EARGED, 1998).

By adding 6th, 7th, and 8th grade topics to the 1983 mathematics curriculum, 5+ 3 = 8 years Elementary Mathematics Curriculum was accepted by TTK in 19. 11.1990 with 153 reference number. The program was applied beginning from the 19911992 instructional years (Albayrak & Aydin, 2002). On September 2003, "Mathematics Committee" was founded to evaluate the program. Committee administered surveys to teachers, inspectors, and 3rd 5th grade students; also achievement tests to 1st 8th grade students. According to the results, teachers found the program's general objectives sufficient, but its' aims, instructional methods, materials, and assessment component were insufficient. In addition to this, it was observed that students reached to the curriculums' goals and behaviors at the expectation level of 70 % for first three grades, but not for the other grades (EARGED, 1997).

On July 18th 1997, eightyear continuous elementary education was made mandatory. …

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