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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsSo now let me introduce general features of Asian mathematics pedagogy. In Singapore mathematics classroom I think one of the key features is Teaching-to-Mastery. Singapore teachers emphasise more on procedural knowledge, followed by factual or basic knowledge, which are fundamental in students' learning in mathematics. In Singapore mathematics classrooms it's often more teacher-centered and I would say teacher- centered and student-centered approaches have both advantages and disadvantages in teaching mathematics. It depends on how and when one uses them. And there are also two specific pedagogical features in Singapore mathematics classrooms. So Shanghai mathematics classrooms usually start with mathematics questions, often contextualised or stimulating to motivate the students. Shanghai teachers usually adopt whole-class teaching, supplemented with small group or individual learning activities.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 secondsAnd mathematically, Shanghai teachers emphasise Two Basics, which means the basic knowledge and basic skills and they emphasize further understanding of concepts. Shanghai mathematics teachers also emphasise developing students higher order thinking, in particular through open-ended problems and applications. Shanghai teachers also emphasise teacher-student interaction and students' engagement with a focus on academic matters. They use the method of teaching with variation, both conceptual variation and procedural variation. In Shanghai teachers assign homework daily for formative assessment and for reinforcement purposes for students' learning. In Shanghai teachers will also provide feedback and remediation to students in a timely manner.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsShanghai teachers usually will provide a summary of what was learned at the end of a lesson and they deliver every lesson with clear structure and coherence. Finally, Shanghai teachers heavily rely on textbooks and other teaching and learning resources. The following framework of lesson structure was identified by a longitudinal, empirical study on Shanghai mathematics classes. So first, teachers use the problem as a starting point for teaching. Second teachers guide the students to develop exploratory activities and third, teachers help students to establish variation in practice or exercise to raise the effectiveness of practice. The fourth is the teacher will provide a summary to adapt into the knowledge structure. Finally, teachers will do modification based on teaching objectives.

General features of Asian maths pedagogy

In this video, we introduce the general features of Asian maths pedagogy, in particular Singapore and Shanghai teaching approaches, as preparation for the next two weeks. In those weeks we will present the features in more detail.

The overall key feature of Singapore classroom is Teaching-to-Mastery. In general terms, this is demonstrated by an emphasis on ‘procedural/how to’ followed by ‘factual/rote/basic’ knowledge, which are fundamental in students further study in mathematics. Furthermore, more teacher-centred approaches, reinforced through exercises, are combined with more student-centred approaches. Two more mathematics-specific teaching approaches are often used in the Singapore mastery approach, the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach and the Bar Model method.

Many of these features can also be recognised in the 11 key features of Shanghai mathematics classrooms. These features:

  1. Usually start with mathematics questions, often contextualized or stimulating, to motivate students.
  2. Adopt whole-class teaching, supplemented with small group or individual learning activities.
  3. In a mathematical sense, emphasise the ‘Two Basics’ (basic knowledge and basic skills) and thorough understanding (mastery) of concepts.
  4. Emphasise the development of students’ high-order thinking, in particular through open-ended problems and application (real-life) problems.
  5. Emphasise teacher-student interaction and students’ academic engagement.
  6. Adopt teaching with variation (both conceptual and procedural).
  7. Assign daily homework for formative assessment and reinforcement purposes.
  8. Provide timely feedback and remediation to students in need.
  9. Provide a summary of what was learned at the end of a lesson.
  10. Deliver lesson with clear structure and coherence.
  11. Heavily rely on textbooks and other teaching and learning resources.

The video finishes with a framework for lesson structure in Shanghai mathematics classes.

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This video is from the free online course:

World Class Maths: Asian Teaching Methods

Macmillan Education

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