Evaluation of the Subtraction in Natural Numbers Unit

Hasan Ozder
Assist. Prof., Dr., Atatürk Öğretmen Akademisi, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)

Problem Statement: The written objectives in curriculum design are hypothetical. In other words, objectives that are part of the curriculum are empirical. Therefore, evaluation of the relevancy and efficiency of the objectives is necessary. To evaluate curriculum relevancy and efficiency requires studies in terms of behavioural objectives and written objectives. Studies based on behavioural objectives include studying to determine (1) the accessibility level of each behavioural objective and (2) the level of support that behavioural objectives provide for each other. Studies based on written objectives reqire studying (1) inclusion of the objective by the behavioural objectives under that objective, (2) the level of the realisation of the objectives and (3) the consistency of the objectives amongst themselves. The current study is an example of studies based on behavioural objectives.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to determine the level of accessibility of the objectives belonging to the subtraction in natural numbers unit in the 3rd grade Mathematics Curriculum of two different classes at Şht. Tuncer Primary School (ŞTPS) and Necati Taşkın Primary School (NTPS) in the Nicosia district and the relevancy of the mentioned objectives.
Methods: Research was conducted with 43 students in two classes from two different primary schools. The research was prepared according to the pretest–posttest model. A Cognitive Entry Behaviour Test (CEBT) and a formative test were used. 
Findings and Results: According to the results of the research, 3rd grade primary school students acquire the subtraction skill in natural numbers at a mastery learning level (75%). No significant difference was observed between the success of the two primary schools included in the research regarding their subtraction skills with natural numbers. The decrease in the learning of this skill was seen mostly in the behavioural objectives requiring the decomposition of tens or hundreds.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The anticipated behavioural pattern with regard to the subtraction skill in natural numbers in the 3rd grade Mathematics Curriculum of the primary schools used in this study did not prove to be consistent. Therefore, while teaching subtraction, a teaching sequence should be followed by refering to the progressivity relationship related to the subtraction skills.
Keywords: Curriculum evaluation, subtraction skill, accessibility of behavioural objectives, prerequisite relationships.