Singapore Math® News and Views

number bondsThe Singapore Math® program recently has been in the news in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Several articles focus on the results of the 2012 Programme for International ­Student Assessment (PISA) which was released in December.

Can the Singapore method help your children learn maths?

Shortly after the results of the PISA exam were announced in December, BBC Skillwise ran a piece that explained some of the features of math in Singapore:

Singapore teaches maths better than most countries including the UK, according to international rankings for secondary pupils.

The difference starts at an early age.

There are many reasons but one key factor is its step-by-step approach that can be used at home or in the classroom.

Canada urged to demand same standards in education as in hockey

From the Calgary Herald, February 19, 2014: Sliding scores in math, science, literacy spark alarm.

Canada’s former deputy prime minister, John Manley, spoke at a symposium focused on Alberta’s ongoing Inspiring Education during the Sochi Winter Olympics. Manley, who now serves as president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, asked:

“How can we be satisfied with 13th place in math when we’re not satisfied with second place in hockey?”

Whitby school borrows ‘world-best’ teaching methods

The Toronto Star reports that students at the Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby, Ontario, are learning math the Singapore way.

Headmaster Adam de Pencier is pursuing the “world best” curriculum  by cherry-picking the leading teaching methods from around the globe:

“If we believe curriculum drives a school, shouldn’t we try to choose the best curriculum, whether it’s from Whitby, Walla Walla, or Wellington?” asked de Pencier, who had math teacher Jessica Semkin train in Singapore math last summer.

Semkin said the Singapore approach “slows down the pace of learning to make sure there is a mastery of skills. With Singapore math, we spent about two weeks on multiplying fractions, instead of a day or two, and then coming back to it later.”

Gill St. Bernard school receives a visit from Singapore math leader

Nine years ago, Gill St. Bernard School piloted the Singapore Math® curriculum in second grade. It quickly expanded; by 2005, the curriculum was in use throughout the Lower and Middle school.

When Lower School Director Peggy Campbell-Rush visited Singapore in 2012, she met Yeap Ban Har, Ph.D, an internationally recognized Singapore math leader. On April 16, 2014, Dr. Ban Har visited Gill St. Bernard School to conduct professional development for the school’s K-6 teachers.

Finally, an OPINION piece that urges consideration of a more rigorous math curricula such as that used in Singapore:

Save kids from Fuzzy Math

A February 3, 2014, New York Post Opinion piece by Naomi Schaefer Riley, includes this revelation:

The education establishment frowns on anything so simple as adopting the methods of high-performing countries…[I]t insists we spend decades and millions of dollars to evaluate each one.


About Cassy

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

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