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This Collins CSEC Mathematics provides a new approach to the study of the CSEC mathematics syllabus. Fully grounded in the practical application of Math in the world today. It includes real-world and everyday contexts for all topics to help Caribbean students understand why Math is so important.
The author Raphael Johnson holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a diploma in education specializing in the teaching of mathematics from the University of the West Indies. He has many years of experience teaching math at CSEC, CAPE and Teacher’s College level in Grenada. He currently teaches math, physics and other mechanical engineering courses at the T. A. Marryshow Community College in Tanteen.
Johnson speaking with the Grenada Informer on his initiative, stated that he’d been teaching Math for many years in both primary and secondary schools before leaving for The University of the West Indies to earn a diploma in education that deals with the teaching of mathematics. After spending that year at UWI he was inspired to write a book, realizing there are some valuable techniques in teaching math, one of which is the use of teaching aids and other materials. When he returned, he taught at the Boca Secondary School for 10 years.
The very first year Johnson taught after returning from UWI he got the best results in Math because all his 25 students passed math at the CXC level. It was the best result on the island that year. At that point he as ready and willing to share some of his knowledge with teachers knowing that Math is a subject that persons struggle with right through the Caribbean.
When Collins, through Mr Philbert who is the agent here approached him and told him they were looking for somebody in Grenada to write a math book he agreed. He took on the task and for the last two years had been working on the book.
The book he said is mainly for forms three to form five students sitting the CSEC examination, the form ones and twos can also use it because it’s very child-friendly with very simple examples as well as the steps that are explained in a way for students to understand.
Also, he said the math book has features that the current math books do not have, for example, the SBA’s are well explained in the book.
A workshop he said was held last week by the Ministry of Education with heads of departments of all secondary schools in math and they were quite pleased with the way the book was laid out. Beside SBA there is also a chapter on the use of calculators; students often use calculators just for simple functions not realizing that a lot can be done with the calculator.
The feedback is, they will be using this book as the official math book for the secondary schools from September coming and one secondary school has agreed to start using it right away as their math book he noted.
Another section he highlighted is based on investigation and problem solving such as given at CESC mathematics paper two. A chapter explains this type of investigation question.
Also, the book has an approach called the ‘Spiral Curriculum Approach’ meaning that topics that are taught earlier are revisited later on at a higher level; if one didn’t understand when the topic was introduced, when it is approaching the second time at a higher level then they get to grasp and understand the topic much better.
The book, Johnson said will be beneficial for persons attempting math at the CXC level because being a teacher for several years he has an idea of some of the problems students have, so he structured the book to help especially students sitting the CXC exam.
There will also be a greater chance of children passing math at CXC level because there’s a lot of images in the book and every chapter relates what they’re going to learn in their real-life experience. Things that they are doing in everyday life, they can see the connection with the math topic they’re dealing with daily.
This book was launched in Antigua last year with several different islands represented, and the teachers from other islands were impressed with it. They were proposing that they use it in their secondary schools because they realize the book has unique features that one wouldn’t find in any and every other math book.
This textbook was produced in response to the poor performance of students writing the CXC Mathematics exams, (regional less than 50 % passes, locally less than 40 % over the last four years). It contains many unique features not seen in other math textbooks even guidance and reminders for teachers in delivering their lessons. The language is simple and friendly so that students can even use the text on their own to teach themselves.
Persons wishing to purchase their copy can now do so on Amazon.
CSEC Mathematics written by Raphael Johnson
Reviewed by: Melissa Andrade, Joanne Baker, Marcus Caine and Lenore Dunnah
Publisher: Collins; Date of Publishing October 31, 2019
Contains 376 pages, 10 chapters, Exam Practice at the end of each chapter, 3 complete practice exams, answers, index
Main features of the text:
1. Full coverage of the current CSEC mathematics syllabus (1st exam, 2018)
2. Comprehensive coverage of the learning objectives in the syllabus – useful for lesson planning.
3. Clear, step by step explanation (especially for the worked examples).
4. Many worked examples (e.g. a total of 131 examples in chapter 1)
5. Many practice exercises.
6. Exam practice (past paper type questions) at the end of each chapter.
7. Chapter on the SBA (Strategy for choosing project topic/ Project report as required by CXC).
8. Spiral curriculum approach (earlier topics revisited and revised at a higher level).
9. Real life application of math (the use of math in everyday life – a source of motivation).
10. Varied exercises (the math concept is explained/assessed from different perspectives/angles to promote a more comprehensive understanding)
11. Graded exercises (questions presented in 3 levels of difficulty: access, pass and top grade level).
12. Helpful chapter summaries (students are able to quickly recall the most important concepts in each chapter – very useful for revising and preparing for exams)
13. Special comment boxes containing the following items: (i) did you know? (ii) Definition of key terms (iii) hints and tips (iv) important formulae (v) reminders (increasing student interest in math)
14. Guidance on the use of the calculator (students can practice the commonly used keys as well as the rarely used functions to facilitate computation exercises)
15. Guidance and reminders for teachers:
o Use of teaching aids and manipulative
o How to teach problem solving skills.
o How to prepare students for the math investigation question