Wrapping up the course
In this four-week course we covered the following topics:
In Week 1 we set the scene, to explore if Asian countries are indeed doing well. We looked at the TIMSS international assessment for Grade 4. We also described possible reasons for good performance. We concluded that Asian students‘ high-performance in mathematics is related to a variety of factors, with a key factor being the mathematics teaching methods used in Asian classrooms.
We mentioned that well-established and widely used teaching principles from Singapore included Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach and the Bar Model method. Well-established and widely used teaching principles from China included Two Basics and Teaching with Variation.
In Week 2 we looked at the principles from Singapore in more detail, the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach and the Bar Model method. We explored how both approaches are firmly rooted and evidenced in research, and we illustrated them with several examples.
Then in Week 3 we turned to China and Hong Kong, with the two principles of Two Basics and Variation theory. Again, we saw that there is a lot of research that underpins them. We explored how both approaches are firmly rooted and evidenced in research, and we illustrated them with several examples.
Finally, in Week 4 we thought about how the principles might be used in your own or your child’s mathematics education. It turns out that effective principles have to be supported by strong structures for professional development. This is exactly what is happening in countries such as China, Singapore or Japan, where teachers can rely on strong support for CPD.
We hope you have enjoyed the course. This course , as mentioned in the beginning, focused on theoretical foundations. In the next course we will return to the key principles and give more practical example tasks that illustrate them. We would appreciate it if in the next and final step you could give examples where this course has impacted (or you think it will impact in the future) your views and daily practice of mathematics teaching.
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