Singapore Math is a plus for South River students

Chandra M. Hayslett:

It’s also different from American math in that fewer topics are taught in an academic year, giving the instructor the opportunity to teach the concept until it is mastered. “There’s a tendency in the United States to teach a topic, then it’s never seen or heard from again,” said Jeffery Thomas, president of Inc., the official distributor of the math books based in Oregon City, Ore.
The American Institute for Research, one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, says Singapore Math is better than American math because Singapore’s textbooks provide a more thorough understanding of concepts, while traditional American math books barely go beyond formulas and definitions. Before someone in Singapore can become a teacher, she must demonstrate math skills superior to her American counterparts, according to the AIR, which is based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Singapore offers an alternative math framework for low-performing students, but at a slower pace and with greater repetition.

2 thoughts on “Singapore Math is a plus for South River students”

  1. In many (most?) Asian countries, middle school math is taught by teachers with 7th- through 12th-grade certification which requires one to have completed a major in mathematics in college and to have performed well on a highly competitive, comprehensive examination in the area of specialization. These teachers are fairly well paid and highly respected. In Madison (and most school districts in the US), middle school math is largely taught by teachers with K- through 8th (or 9th)-grade certification, i.e., generalists who are expected to be able to teach numerous subjects, very few of whom majored in mathematics in college. This difference, as well as the curricula, likely strongly affects student outcomes.

  2. If the superintendent wants to find out how the MMSD’s math curriculum compares to alternative curricula, it would make good sense to implement Singapore math in three or four schools and compare the results to the performance of students in other MMSD schools, rather than getting a bunch of academics around a table to debate what works best.

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