I have studied "the 6th National Mathematics Curriculum in Korea"
(Korea Educational Research Institution, 1992) with a curriculum guideline
from the Ministry of Education in Korea. In 1992, when the 5th National
Mathematics Curriculum was in effect, the Ministry of Education requested
the Korea Educational Research Institution (KERI) to start developing the
6th National Mathematics Curriculum . This is the usual process for the
curriculum development in Korea. The 6th mathematics curriculum went into
effect in Korea in the spring semester of 1997.

KERI started collecting data for the 6th mathematics curriculum in two
major ways. First, the KERI researchers examined the curricular of four
foreign countries (Britain, Germany, Japan, and US) as well as the world
trend in curriculum development. Second, they examined the effectiveness
of the 5th Mathematics Curriculum in the schools. Teacher interviews and
national examination scores were used by the KERI researchers to determine
the effectiveness of the 5th Mathematics Curriculum. The examination of
the curricular from the four countries did not have an impact on the development
of the 6th Mathematics Curriculum. I think this fact reflects the general
satisfaction of Koreans towared the national mathematics curriculum. This
was also evident in my interviews with a mathematics professor from a university
in Korea and a highschool graduate from Korea. Therefore, the main focus
was on the analysis of the 5th Mathematics Curriculum rather than on other
countries' curricular.

KERI states that the 6th Mathematics Curriculum would reflect the reality
of the schools, which would address teachers' concerns about the 5th Mathematics
Curriculum. But, there is a problem in supporting the KERI's argument, since
there was no direct involvement of teachers in the development of the 6th
Mathematics Curriculum. So more efforts by KERI are needed to allow an active
involvement of teachers in developing the next. This is also what the authors
in* the Curriculum *Development in Mathematics support. But, the 6th
Mathematics Curriculum is teacher-centered in many ways. For example, the
6th Mathematics Curriculum is a good guide for teachers planning mathematical
contents, instructional methods, and even evaluation methods. Those things
are well described in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum. I compared the presentation
of mathematics in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum to that of the Standards
(NCTM, 1991) in the US or the Common Curriculum (Ontario Ministry of Education,
1995) in Ontario. Therefore, possible confusion among teachers about what
to teach, how to teach, and how to evaluate are expected to be reduced to
a minimum level . I think this is a strong point of the national curriculum.
Of course, it can be criticized for its passive role of teachers as decision
makers as well as the non-flexibility of the mathematics curriculum in the
schools.

Let me think of the three types of curriculum within the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum; the intended curriculum, the taught curriculum, and the learned
curriculum. In the process of developing the 6th Mathematics Curriculum,
considerations for the intended curriculum were made by KERI and the Ministry
of Education. There were also considerations for the taught curriculum by
interviews with teachers. Is there an examining process for the learned
curriculum? I think that's what is missing in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum.
Students were not taken into account in the development of the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum.

The national mathematics curriculum in Korea needs to have a balance both
from-center-to-peripheral and from-peripheral-to-center. In *the Curriculum
*Development in Mathematics, the authors said the following: " those
involved in curriculum design and development will have to take into account
the views and needs of *all* interested parties, but these views will
then have to be weighted and mediated" (p. 13). The 6th Mathematics
Curriculum did not consider the views and needs of all interested parties.
They should have considered of students, parents, school administrators
and so on. Some opinions from school administrators and parents were collected
by public forums. But, their impact power was minimal. I find a similar
problem when I look at KERI researches. They did not represent all interested
parties in quality or in quantity. In the KERI research teams, there were
only 12 people (2, 2, 8 for the elementary, middle, and high school mathematics
curriculum, respectively). In fact, it was unbelievable to me that KERI
had such a small number of people deciding the mathematics curriculum for
all students in Korea. I think it is critical for KERI to involve teachers
in their research teams. Grant, Peterson, and Shojgreen-Downer(1996, p.
234) support this idea: "the real challenges are at the delivery stage".
For the 6th Mathematics Curriculum to be teacher-centered in a real sense,
the active involvement of teachers both in the process of curriculum development
and implementation should have been considered.

There was little influence from the NCTM's Standards (NCTM, 1991) because
of some of the social-cultural-philosophical reasons in the Korean educational
system. There were several reasons why I expected some influence from the
Standards. Several KERI researchers had studied in the United States, and
development of the 6th Mathematics Curriculum started in 1992 when the NCTM's
Standards began to spread across the world. Probably, in the eyes' of the
KERI researchers, the Standards' suggestions would have been too vague and
abstract to be given to the teachers of Korea. They have been equipped with
specific curriculum guidelines, so it is natural for them to expect the
6th Mathematics Curriculum to have a similar characteristic. For example,
there is a sentence in the NCTM's *Curriculum and Evaluation Standards
for School Mathematics*: " the core curriculum is intended to provide
a common body of mathematical ideas accessible to all students" (p.
123). To most of the Korean teachers, the meaning of the word *core curriculum*
would be new and difficult to grasp. Many of them would ask what kind of
content is included in the core curriculum. I think this example describes
the need for gradual change. Grant, Peterson, & Shojgreen-Downer(1996,
pp. 509-541) agree in their paper, *Learning to Teach Mathematics in the
Context of Systemic *Reform; They believe that a curriculum change should
be a "systemic change". It also should not be the "change
without difference" (Roemer, 1991, p. 447). If there had been a movement
to change the 6th Mathematics Curriculum drastically, the movement would
not have had any support from the members of the mathematics education society
in Korea. For example, students, teachers, parents, and educational administrators
would have been confused and would have lost their way in learning, teaching,
and managing the schools.

Being practical has a deep root in the Korean educational society, and
so historically, mathematics has been taught in a practical way. The 6th
Mathematics Curriculum is no exception. For example, the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum states that students should be able to perform the basic abilities
of a good citizen in the 21st century. So, school is a place to practice
the social norms; which is consistent with the idea of Goodman's social
functionalism(1995). The combination of being practical and social functionalism
is reflected in many parts of the educational philosophy of the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum. The 6th Mathematics Curriculum wants students to meet the needs
of the rapidly changing Korean society and international societies.

KERI found that the 5th Mathematics Curriculum was excellent in its implementation
in the schools . Therefore, most of the structures from the 5th mathematics
curriculum were kept for the 6th Mathematics Curriculum. The 6th mathematics
curriculum does not pay attention to the individual student just as the
5th mathematics curriculum did not. Instead, productivity and efficiency
are pursued throughout the 6th mathematics curriculum.

I was able to look at an interesting philosophical feature in the 6th mathematics
curriculum. The 6th mathematics curriculum explicitly states that students
should be able to keep social rules and order. The theory of social reproduction
from the critical theory is related to the idea. People seem to believe
that mathematics is understood by accurate terminology or symbols representing
particular concepts. Then, the students' job is to apply their mathematical
understanding to problems. The importance of obtaining the rigorous side
of mathematics cannot be ignored in the teaching and learning of mathematics
in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum. In the rigorous learning of mathematics,
students learn how to keep the rules and this is where the social reproduction
begins. It is believed that students will not be able to solve the problems
unless they follow defined regulations and order (How different from the
idea's of the Standards! The Standards do not say that students should follow
every rule when they try to solve a problem). This belief has many reasons,
but one of the most important reasons is the political one of North Korea.
It is important to Korean people that mathematics education should play
a role in keeping the Korean society in a democratic society which is under
continuous tension with North Korea.

By stating the importance of respecting the ideas of others, the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum is trying to give teachers the power to control their students
and classrooms. In a different sense, the students are asked to behave by
the 6th Mathematics Curriculum which is a unique feature of the Korean curriculum.
Of course, students are expected to respect their peers, but it is striking
to see that it is stated explicitly in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum, and
not by an implicit agreement among students. I have an interesting thought
here. What if a curriculum project in the US handled student displine and
teachers' power in the same way as the Korean curriculum does? The first
question will be "Is it possible?".

There is a nice statement in the *Curriculum Development in Mathematics*
(p. 183): "The closer one approaches the curriculum to be evaluated,
the more aware one becomes of its manifold qualities. " From now on,
I will talk about an analogy between curriculum and evaluation which I found
from the study of the 6th Mathematics Curriculum. It was evident that no
one could separate the issues of assessment from the issues of curriculum.
The assessment methods in the 6th mathematics curriculum show some traditional
ways of looking at the assessment. The 6th mathematics curriculum says that
the evaluation of learning in mathematics should aim at the improvement
of teaching and learning in order to actualize the real value of education.
Thus, the results of the evaluation should be based on the improvement of
individual students and teachers' instructional methods. But, I thought
that the improvement in teachers' instruction had more attention throughout
the 6th mathematics curriculum than did the improvement in students' learning.
I say this because there are many phrases like "focusing teachers'
preparation for next classes" or "teachers' obtaining an idea
of the levels of achievement from students". This is more evidence
that the 6th Mathematics Curriculum is teacher-centered. The 6th Mathematics
Curriculum provides teachers with a good guide about assessment-related
issues.

It is interesting to see the idea of three types of assessment processes,
diagnostic, formative, and summative, for evaluating students' understanding.
Every teacher is officially required to have the results from the three
assessment methods before and after instruction. The summative evaluation
at the end of each semester is used as national data on all students' mathematical
achievement. The data is used when the students apply for higher education.
In fact, the ministry of education manages all the assessment data from
every school. But, it is not a new idea to have diagnostic tests and formative
tests. There are some related studies by Lankford, Brown, and Burton in
1970s, (the *Psychology of Learning Mathematics* , p. 88) foresaw a
time when schools might have a diagnostic specialist who would work with
children having special difficulty in mathematics. Why does the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum want teachers to practice the three assessment processes? The
6th Mathematics Curriculum does not provide reasons for asking teachers
to do so. I think the 6th Mathematics Curriculum also has a problem with
the diagnostic test. Does the diagnostic test mean the evidence of the prior
learning? Or does it mean the students' ability to learn new mathematical
content? If it means the former, the issue of measuring students' learning
and then applying the information to the classroom should be discussed.
If it means the latter, the issue of tracking students according to their
ability to learn mathematics would emerge.

Compared to the current issues in assessment, it is interesting to see the
domain-specific knowledge as the main focus of the 6th Mathematics Curriculum.
The domain-specific knowledge would be easier to measure on the teachers'
side, but many suggestions such as ones from the NCTM's Standards should
be reflected in the 7th Mathematics Curriculum in Korea. I think this is
a change that the 7th Mathematics Curriculum should look for. In addition
to that, there should be more voices about problem-solving abilities including
communication abilities, reasoning abilities, and the level of mathematical
aptitudes in the 7th Mathematics Curriculum since there is little of this
in the 6th Mathematics Curriculum.

The 6th Mathematics Curriculum tis clear about selecting the tools of the
assessment: "the method or the tool of the evaluation should be something
easy to use for most teachers." This is an unique statement which I
have not found in any other assessment-related literature. I hope that this
statement could not be used as an excuse by mathematics teachers who do
not pay attention to their students' various ways of doing mathematics .
At any rate, teachers should be able to understand the affective matters
of their students and conduct frequent observation of student participation
and other various mathematical activities.

Despite all the complex issues related to the 6th Mathematics Curriculum,
the best thing for me was to be able to find some strong demands on improved
curriculum in the Korean society. I want to believe that the 6th Mathematics
Curriculum is the best result of our efforts at this point of time. Otherwise,
who would be responsible for practicing a wrong curriculum for all students
in Korea? No one would want to be responsible for it. But there should be
more effort and consideration for a better mathematics curriculum when KERI
starts developing the 7th Mathematics Curriculum. I hope that the criticisms
and suggestions in this paper will be under consideration. Finally, I hope
that I will be able to participate actively in the curriculum decision process
in the future.

**References**

Goodman, J. (1995). Change without Difference: School Restructuring in Historical
Perspective,

*Harvard Educational Review*, 65 (1), pp. 1-28.

Howson, G., Keitel, C. & Kilpatrick, J. (1981).* Curriculum Development
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York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Korea Educational Research Institute. (1992).*The Studies on the 6th
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Curriculum. Seoul, Korea.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1989). *Curriculum and
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School Mathematics. Reston, VA.

Resnick, L & Ford, W.W. (1981). *The Psychology of Mathematics
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New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Roemer, M. (1991). What we talk about when we talk about school reform.
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Review, 61, pp. 434-448.

Grant, S., Perterson, P., and Shojgren-Downer, A. (1996). Learning to Teach Mathematics in the

Context of Systemic Reform. *American Educational *Research Journal,
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1-9. Toronto: Queens' Printer.

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Weiler, K. (1988). *Critical Educational Theory, Women Teaching for
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Power. New York, Bergin & Garvey.