Experts weigh in on Singapore Math

I found some interesting interviews with noted mathematics experts, James Milgram and Ze’ev Wurman in a new blog called Math Experts – Q & A. The host, Pascal Blacque, asks mathematicians their opinions on current education trends.  Blaque states upfront that he is “concerned about the ‘reform math’ program” in his daughter’s school.

Here’s Milgram on Everyday Math:

There is a pretty good program hidden inside EM.  But no more than 1 in 500 teachers are capable of locating and delivering it.  However, that one teacher would almost certainly be able to do better on her own.

Both Milgram and Wurman are pretty warm and fuzzy on Singapore Math, though.  From the interview with Milgram (full interview):

Q&A: If you had to pinpoint two/three main deficiencies in EM (Everyday Math) and Singapore, what would they be?
JM: There are no major deficiencies in the Singapore program, just a few points where it could be better than it is.  On the other hand, the recommended lessons in EM are mostly useless.
From the interview with Wurman (full interview):
Q&A: If you had to rate EDM (Everyday Math) vs. Singapore Math in achieving real math proficiency, what would be your ranking on 1-10 scale (10 being best) for each program?
ZW: Proficiency is hard to define. I would use the preparation for an authentic Algebra 1 course (Nat’l Advisory Math Panel definition) instead.
TERC = 2,
EDM = 4,
Saxon = 7 or 8,
Singapore (Primary Math) = 10
Both interviews are informative reads.
About Cassy

Passionate about Singapore Math + Teacher Trainer and Coach + Treasure Hunter + Learner. Answer to the ultimate question? 42.

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