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Macmillan Education, FutureLearn and the University of Southampton join forces to bring Asian-style maths teaching and learning to a global audience

  • Macmillan Education becomes one of the first publishing houses to partner with FutureLearn.
  • The leading educational publisher also partners with the University of Southampton for its research, knowledge and experience to launch its first MOOC.

Macmillan Education today announces its partnerships with the University of Southampton and FutureLearn. The relationship sees the publisher combine its experience in producing excellent teaching and learning materials with Southampton’s track record in creating great online courses on the FutureLearn platform.

The first two online courses, developed as part of this new partnership, focus on Asian-style maths teaching. With Singapore, South Korea and Japan boasting the highest-achieving primary and secondary school students in maths and science, according to the 2016 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Macmillan and Southampton have designed these courses to help teachers and parents to understand the key features of how maths is taught in primary schools throughout Asia and what makes those methods so successful.

The first of the courses, World Class Maths: Asian Teaching Methods focuses on a range of teaching principles and explains the reasons behind their global success. Learners will also compare the performance of maths education in their own countries and explore the importance of teachers’ professional development in high-performing education systems.

The second course, World Class Maths: Asian Teaching Practice examines the subject in greater depth. Learners will design lesson plans and teaching tasks so that they can integrate Asian-style maths teaching methods into their own classroom practice. The course has a range of content, including videos, interactive tasks, online discussion forums, quizzes and directed readings. The course ends with an optional task in which the learner designs a lesson plan, which will help to draw together everything learned during the course.

World Class Maths is open for enrolment now and starts on 7th May.

Professor Fan, Lead Educator of the courses and world-renowned expert in Asian maths education from the University of Southampton, says, “I think Asian maths teaching methods and practices have unique principles to offer anyone who wants to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics at school and at home. We are delighted to be working with Macmillan Education and FutureLearn through these online courses to share our research, knowledge, and experience in this area with teachers, parents and anyone who is interested”.

Dr Christian Bokhove, Co-leader of the courses, and Associate Professor in Mathematics Education at the University of Southampton says, “It is fascinating to try to unpick why some Asian countries excel in international assessments like TIMSS. I think one key reason lies in the way they structure their pedagogy and curriculum. This course tries to describe many of these key features in an accessible way for practitioners, and also to provide a deeper understanding of the underlying research in this area.”

James Orr, International Curriculum Publisher for Macmillan Education, explains, “Our vision, at Macmillan, is to deliver innovative solutions that will drive student performance and help teachers to achieve excellent results. Having recently developed Asian-style maths resources for International schools in partnership with Star Publishing, Singapore, we are looking to share our expertise with a global audience. The FutureLearn platform provides exactly the reach, scale and credibility we need. Meanwhile, the University of Southampton, already a FutureLearn partner themselves, and a world-renowned centre of research and excellence, provides the expertise to explain the underlying pedagogical principles of Asian-style maths resources.  The combination of the two partners means that we’re able to support teachers and parents is in a way that is, free, open, collaborative and accessible for all.’

Nigel Smith, Head of Content for FutureLearn, commented, “With Asian countries leading the way in maths and science today, learning how to teach Asian-style maths is incredibly topical and relevant and something that can benefit teachers from all over the world. Teaching is one of our core curriculum areas so we’re delighted that Macmillan chose to partner with us for these courses which we believe will really benefit teachers in their working lives.”


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About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 7 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.


About Macmillan Education

Macmillan Education helps students, teachers and institutions to achieve more throughout a lifetime of learning.

Macmillan Education is part of the Springer Nature group that includes nature, Scientific American and Springer, prestigious brands that have published ground-breaking research in Maths and Science for over 150 years.

Macmillan Education provides resources and services for English Language Teaching (ELT), Curriculum and Higher Education across the globe. Our network spans 120-countries where our Schools and Higher Education teams work side-by-side. We work globally and locally, ensuring we understand and support the needs of the local markets and the wider international community.

Our passion for learning has helped millions of learners around the world to achieve their ambitions by providing the highest quality content, in the most relevant, engaging and flexible formats.

About University of Southampton

The University of Southampton drives original thinking, turns knowledge into action and impact, and creates solutions to the world’s challenges.  We are among the top one per cent of institutions globally.  Our academics are leaders in their fields, forging links with high-profile international businesses and organisations, and inspiring a 24,000-strong community of exceptional students, from over 135 countries worldwide. Through our high-quality education, the University helps students on a journey of discovery to realise their potential and join our global network of over 200,000 alumni.

References re rankings:

Professor Lianghuo Fan is the Lead Educator on both courses, and based at the University of Southampton, a centre of excellence for Asian maths research and practice. Professor Fan is a world renowned expert in the field of Asian maths education with extensive experience in education and research in China, USA, Singapore and the UK.

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