In a recent report, Singapore Math has been adopted by half of UK primary schools. Indeed, studies have shown that students who are exposed to Singapore Math showed more enthusiasm in Math. Why Is Singapore Math Gaining International Traction? What is so special about Singapore Math, that schools worldwide is studying its benefits and introducing into their national curriculum?
Why Is Singapore Math Gaining International Traction
This is often the question when we talk to our overseas partners. In recent years, Singapore textbooks have penetrated overseas market. In for example, there are various schools across the Philippines that is using Singapore Math Textbooks. Likewise, UK schools are starting to use Singapore Math Textbooks too. This is a testament that our education system is indeed working. But what make Singapore Math popular internationally?
In a nutshell, Singapore Math is based on the age old model of mastering the fundamentals first before moving on to a tougher concept. This means that students are often drilled in the basic modes of operation first before they are being taught other topics. In addition, Singapore Math is heavily modeled against the CPA approach. CPA would mean Concrete, Pictorial followed by Abstract.
What Is The CPA Approach In Singapore Math
Our mantra is to keep things concise. Hence, in a very quick and brief summary, the CPA approach is simply to let students visualize the problem by representing it with objects. This is often done by using Math manipulatives. Examples will be Lego blocks or even 3D objects.
After this, the pictorial step is to represent the problem in terms of models that is being drawn by the student. This is when the famed Singapore Modelling Method comes into place. This allows the students to make the mental connection between a real life problem to something that can be modeled on a paper itself.
Once the students are able to make that mental connection, the Abstract part comes into play. During this stage, students will be introduced the mathematical concepts that will be needed to solve the questions. This will include using mathematical symbols to solve the question. At the basic level, students will use the four basic operators to solve the problem.
Why Is The CPA Approach Good
When teachers use the CPA approach, they are helping the students to make the mental connection between a problem to mathematical concepts. When students are able to relate real life issues to mathematical concepts, they will find it much easier to grasp the information. This is unlike the approach used by many schools around the world. The most common approach is to let the teacher explain the problem, and the teacher will quickly use mathematical symbols to solve the problem. This model is what we deem as rote learning. This model of learning is passe, given how fast we are growing now.