March 19, 2019
The Singapore math teaching model is being utilized in many institutions across the globe, particularly in the United States and Britain. Textbooks based on those in Singapore were used as a trail in 70 British primary schools by the Department for Education over two years. A research study had then found that they were effective in helping children build their foundations well and understand the subject better.
Singapore math is known to be one of the most challenging in the world and it particularly known to be one that prepares students to be critical thinkers and to stay ahead of the curve. As a case in point, according to a global study called ‘International Mathematics and Science Study which was designed by policymakers and educators, it was concluded that Singapore students are the world’s best in the subjects of mathematics and science. The Ministry of Education of Singapore places much emphasis on Mathematics as it offers various career options and plays a significant role in the progress of a country’s economy and development in many aspects.
So, what is it about Singapore math teaching style which helps students deal with math in a skillful manner?
Let’s look at a few ways why this is as such…
#1: LAYING A STRONG BASE
It is a well-known fact that when you are ought to build something, the foundation has to be strong enough to withstand the burden of everything that else that goes on top of it. For a tree to stand upright and bear fruits its roots have to travel deep and anchor itself strongly to the soil. Similarly, Singapore’s education system follows a “mastery method” in mathematics, which ensures that concepts are strengthened through repeated practice. The exposure to different types of questions and getting used to critical thinking will give confidence to student after many trial and errors. Singapore math tutors also make it a point to break big concepts into “bite-size” level for easy internalization.
#2: HIGHER-ORDER THINKING
Singapore mathematic problems demand more cognitive processing and this can be pressurizing for students. Skills like analysis, evaluation and synthesis are higher order, and this requires the implementation of different teaching methods apart from simply learning facts and concepts.
Educating children to think critically from a young age will naturally train their minds, it will become second nature to them when they are given a problem sums to solve during examinations. With proper guidance from a math tutor and sincerity on the student’s part, this skill will enable a student to bring about an almost immediate response upon reading a mathematics question which includes viewing the problem sum with a critical lens, then to analyze, hypothesize, test and finally figure out the answer. Practice will solidify this skill over time.
Singapore is a country that puts meritocracy on the pedestal, emphasizes the importance of hard work and that comes with the effort that students put into practice with dedication. The education system has made it clear that students need to be fully equipped, to be provided with various resources to practice, master the concepts and hone their skills. School tutors and math private tutors also follow this rule because this is one of the keys to succeeding in mathematics.
Our policy makers and educators have been farsighted from the beginning and this has allowed them to pave the right path for students to travel on. It’s certainly one of the biggest reasons for Singaporean students to be skilled in mathematics among their international peers. Math may seem like a challenging subject but it’s definitely possible to excel in it over time, with patience, persistence and proper guidance from good math tutors.
Author Bio: Steffen Carter is a Singapore Math tutor, he works for ChampionTutor – One of the best tutoring agency. He enjoys working with students very much. He has a positive attitude and a passion to assist and motivate struggling learners.