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Recap of Week 1
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Recap of Week 1

Based on the experiences of both course leaders and students, we provide a summary of Week 1.
Hello! It’s good to see you and I hope that you enjoyed the first week of the MOOC. What we normally do after a week is look back at the first week and especially because I also comment in the sections and I read all the comments, I try to engage with you as the learner. I think it’s good to summarize a little bit what I’ve seen. And I could say that there are two, I think, main themes that I want to highlight that I read in the comments. The first one is about this idea of international large-scale assessments; we looked at TIMSS of course, is the role of a language.
Some of you noted that mathematics has become quite ‘wordy’ and that assessment items contain a lot of words, so that actually if your reading isn’t up to par then maybe you also suffer in your mathematics achievement. And I must agree
that that is true: there is a very big danger of this and there is a very interesting study actually done with data from both the reading assessment PIRLS and TIMSS and they looked at the relationship between reading and mathematics and it indeed was the case that if you weren’t very good at reading you probably suffered a little bit in mathematics as well. And of course you
could say: should that be the case? Because mathematics is not about reading, it’s about mathematics. I will put the link in the comment section and in this section as well. A second point that was noted by many people, and maybe even the most important point to realise when you’re talking about international large-scale assessments, is that the country context, cultural factors, also are very important. It certainly isn’t the case that you can just copy a whole system from China, from Japan, or any other country and then transplant it to your own country of course. There are lots of variables like cultural but also classroom sizes etc etc and behavior and they are very very difficult to manipulate or to change.
So you’re right, people are right in saying that that is difficult. However, as we also try to show, there also are some levers that we think that you can change. Things like the way that you do your pedagogy or the actual assessment items or maybe the use of resources in the classroom. And it is that assumption that we want to put in this MOOC. That brings us nicely, actually, to the second week which you’re starting now. In this week we’re going to look at two principles from Singapore.
One is the so-called Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach where we try to show that sometimes starting with concrete materials, then go into a pictorial phase and then to the abstract phase, that that could be very useful in actually learning mathematics. And the second Singapore principle is the Bar Model method which tries to use bars, a pictorial method, to actually teach ratios and proportions. So I hope you will enjoy the second week and I will see you in the comment section.

Welcome to Week 2!

In Week 1, we focused on how Asia does well from an international perspective, and presented some possible reasons why this may be the case. This Week 1 recap video is based on the experiences of both Educators and learners. We also respond to some of the comments and questions made during the week.

In Week 2 we will look at two maths teaching principles from Singapore.

This video was uploaded on Friday, the 7th of September, 2018 and is based on the comments made in the second run of the MOOC.

Here is the report “TIMSS and PIRLS 2011: Relationships Among Reading, Mathematics, and Science Achievement at the Fourth Grade—Implications for Early Learning”.

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World Class Maths: Asian Teaching Methods

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