Why Singapore Math Curriculum Works Best for Us

Singapore math curriculum

Singapore math curriculum, it is based on the learning concepts proposed by Jerome Bruner, the renowned American psychologist. Second, it focusses more on understanding the concepts of mathematics rather than the content. And third, the pictorial and abstract form of learning comes only after the concrete form, which helps a child analyse a problem better. All these have combined to make Singapore math curriculum special and it naturally has gained considerable fame globally.

Before the 1980s, Singapore used to depend on the curriculum of foreign countries to teach their children. It was only in 1981 when the Curriculum Planning and Development Division decided to have its own method and started distributing books on ‘Primary Mathematics’ to its schools. Soon, Homeschooling in Singapore parents and other institutes started acknowledging the success of the Singapore math curriculum and its reach started spreading to countries like the UK, US, Israel and Canada.

Why Singapore Math Curriculum Works Best For Us

Concrete, pictorial and then abstract

These are the fundamental three steps on which the Singapore math curriculum is based upon. Concrete means making a student learn with something tangible. For example, instead of introducing a child to addition directly on the textbook, the concrete approach suggests the use of dices. Roll two or three dices simultaneously and make the student count the number of dots in display.

Similarly, you can use coloured pencils, Lego blocks, erasers or anything else to teach the concepts of addition and subtraction. Once the child is through with this, the next comes pictorial. Singapore Math makes use of bars to relay the concept when something tangible isn’t present. For instance, a total of 5 pencils can be represented by a rectangular bar divided into 5 equal parts. This can be used to teach that three and two make five.

The same pictorial bar concept can be used to teach multiplication, division, ratios and other mathematical concepts. The last step is the traditional textbook method that is mostly followed. By the time children reach this step, they are already well versed with the subject.

Singapore math curriculum’s success story

To test the effectivity of this new and improved curriculum, TIMSS or Trends International Mathematics and Science Society conducted a case study among students in Grade 4 and 8. They found students from Singapore fared better than their counterparts worldwide and even ranked first in the years of 1995, 1999 and then again in 2003.

Plus, visual learning has a greater impact on children and Singapore math curriculum employs just that. Every step is designed to teach a child the fundamental concept of mathematics and why should we apply them. Are you convinced to include Singapore Math in your child’s curriculum yet?

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