Spiraling Approach in teaching Mathematics in the K to 12 Curriculum PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 September 2014 13:48

The Spiral Approach in the secondary education is the offshoot of the K to 12 Curriculum implementation otherwise known as the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum. The said curriculum was adopted to effect learning among learners, including struggling learners.

Howards in his article , “The Spiral Curriculum’’, espouses that even the most complex material , if properly structured and presented, can be understood by very young children. In this curriculum, learning difficulties can be identified and interventions can be implemented when skills and concepts are encountered again later in the spiral.

Spiral Curriculum has been implemented in the United States. Gamoran (2001) in De Dios (2012) stresses that American Schools follow a Spiral Curriculum in Mathematics; that is, they spend substantial proportion of time on review of each year that only limited progress can be made with new materials. Curriculum planners and educators in the United States are convinced that Spiral Curriculum is effective. Research evidence reveals that Spiral Physics Curriculum showed statistically significant difference in effectiveness compared to Linear Physics Curriculum (Howard, 2006).

In the Philippines, Spiral Curriculum in high school, does not only require good teachers who could handle multiple disciplines, but also different types of textbook. Students cannot have three textbooks each year for example, for mathematics to coverall four areas of the spiral curriculum: algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.. Using four separate textbooks will not define how each of these areas will be covered in each year of high school. In fact, one of the materials in school that operationally defines what will be covered is the textbook. Thus, without a textbook, the content of these mathematics courses will be unclear. To be effective, mathematics teachers need to attend in-service training to equip themselves with content and to equitably allocate time in the three areas expected to be taken in one school year. If teachers cannot teach the three areas in mathematics, they have to use team teaching to maximize the transfer of learning. Each mathematics teacher teaching in one grade level can give his/her best in teaching the subject.

The instructional materials in teaching mathematics are prescribed by the Department of Education. These instructional materials including teachers’ manual and learners’ material are given to teachers to be used in classroom instruction or these can be downloaded in the internet. Students can easily have access of these instructional materials to include activities, thus, paving the way for students to arrive at correct answers without exerting efforts. In this scenario, mathematics teachers have to use their creativity and innovativeness in preparing instructional materials akin to what is prescribed. The move of this sort opens possibilities for teachers to become responsive to their pedagogical duties and responsibilities and students can be critical and can use their knowledge and skills.

The Spiral Approach in teaching mathematics has implications to teaching and learning. The teachers can enhance their teaching preparedness through the Department of Education’s prescribed instructional materials and through their own efforts which can lead them to discover and innovate appropriate classroom strategies and activities for effective teaching. Teachers’ continuous attempts to innovate classroom activities can lead to dynamic teaching - learning process as a consequence, learning will be significant and meaningful among students. Moreover, teachers in team teaching can develop trust , establish better relationship with their colleagues and deepen commitment to work. Through the efforts of these teachers, students’ motivation and interest to engage in classroom activities can effect optimal learning, develop better behavior and attend to fewer students - related problems. — Maria Fe Salatan-Gadaingan, ZNHS West