The Singpore way of teaching maths is wielding great results in not one but in 14 nations across the globe. Touted as “Singapore maths”, it is now getting takers in countries as far as India, South Africa, Chile and the United Kingdom. And it has been getting great results, too.
According to data available, private school students in Britain, USA and India, taught maths, the Singapore way, fared way better in their test scores. However, despite the methodology being in high demand, overseas teachers trying to integrate “Singapore maths” in their syllabus or national curriculum is are facing certain issues. Take the example of the secondary schools in Britain, wanting to adopt this teaching technique are running out of customised teaching content, which is creating a crunch.
Considering the high demand for such content, Singapore’s National Institute of Education (NIE), has taken up a pilot project on how to get the “Singapore Maths” incorporated in international curriculum. A group, comprising five NIE’s Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group academics were sent off to Australia to custom design the teaching material for Australian students in Grades 5 to 7. This pilot project is part of resolve: Mathematics by Inquiry Programme, which is managed by Australian Academy of Science (AAS).
Once this project yields result, it will be replicated in Victoria and South Australia. NIE is hopeful implementing this project by February 2018. reSolve aims to train around 240 teachers for this programme and over 400 Australian schools have expressed interest in it.
Associate Professor Lee Ngan Hoe, team leader of Singaporean researchers, in an interview with Straight Times said, “Overseas teachers may not know the philosophy and principles behind some methods, so there may be a mismatch in terms of how the (teaching) methods are used.”
It’s not just Australia, which has a huge demand for “Singapore Math” textbooks. There has been a similar demand put forward by primary schools in Britain. Around 70 such schools recognised by Britain’s Department for Education is using these books on a trial basis. That apart, the British government is also funding this new methodology of teaching maths in around 8000 primary schools.
However, it is to be understood that it was in the nineties that American educators took notice of this model of teaching, which eventually lead to them extensively study Singaporean maths books, thereby establishing the fact that Singapore’s way of teaching maths definitely, had its own advantages.