Preferred contexts of Korean youth for the learning of school mathematics (grades 8-10)
This study investigated real life situations which learners in South Korea grade 8-10 learners would prefer to be used in school mathematics.This thesis is based on the ROSMEII (Relevance of School Mathematics ducation) questionnaires and interviews, which was used to examine the preferred mathematical learning contexts for South Korean grade 8-10 learners. The study investigates the affective factors that pupils perceive to be of possible relevance for the learning and teaching of mathematic; and is aimed at providing data that might form part of a basis for a local theory of the mathematics curriculum. The standardized ROSMEII survey questionnaire of 23closeended items that relate to some aspects of mathematics on a 4-point Likert-type scale was administered to Korean grade 8-10 learners at the end of compulsory schooling, and mainly 14 to 16 year old cohorts. The data for this study were collected from a sample of 1839 learners drawn from 26 South Korean schools in the year 2009. Interviews were conducted to gauge the pupils‘ preference of the ROSMEII questionnaire contexts and used to validate learners‘ responses. In analyzing their responses, it became clear that, on the average, views expressed were common to all groups of pupils in South Korea (whether male or female, or from the metropolitan, city, or countryside). The clusters of the most preferred mathematical learning contexts are linked to youth culture, which learners are usually and easily engaged with in one way or another. These clusters include the sports, leisure and recreation cluster; planning a journey/popular youth culture cluster the technology cluster; the making of computer games, storing music and videos on CD‘s and Ipods. The lowest preferred mathematical learning contexts are: an agricultural cluster which focuses on agricultural matters and traditional games (yut). In conclusion, this study suggests that teachers should use contexts that increase learners‘ interest in classroom activities. Therefore mathematics curricula and textbooks which are appropriate to this context must be provided in order to provide more efficient mathematics education. It is imperative that the Korean school system must develop a particular program for nurturing learners‘ mathematical power. Furthermore, mathematics education policy makers must reconsider whether the current education system is appropriate, and also listen to learners‘ preferences when designing appropriate mathematics curriculum and textbooks.