When Singapore's Ministry of Education decided to revamp their math curriculum, they only have one goal in mind, that is, to maximize each child's potential.
They decided to do away with their current educational system and tried to stay away from traditional teaching.
They focused on addressing the flaws of the current system.
Kids, they decided, should not be boxed in their learning.
They should be allowed to expand their imaginations, see the application of their lessons and engage them in various activities.
Thus, they designed their new curriculum based on these guidelines.
The Global Trend What they did not realize is that it marked the start of a new global trend.
The success of their new curriculum is evidenced in the performance of the kids in the worldwide survey conducted by TIMSS or the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study.
Once the results were out, the world saw the difference it made.
They inquired further.
They want to know why it worked and why the teaching system they used to think was effective was in fact, not.
The fact that the kids who took the Singapore approach in math showed consistent performance is enough to prove that there is a need for change.
In time, countries began revamping their curriculums and started jumping on this global trend.
They began including Singapore math textbooks in their material lists.
Seminars are held for teachers to adapt to this new change.
3 Features of Singapore Math The new system focused on problem solving and the use of heuristic math methods.
They intended to use all the mental faculties of a child to allow them to enhance their learning.
So they thought of the concept that would achieve this.
Thus, Singapore math revolves on 3 core principles in all their methods - the use of concrete, visual and abstract methods.
Concrete Kids learn the best during game play.
Every lesson is done through experience.
Through the use of concrete objects, kids get to understand numbers and various math applications.
They know what three means when they are given only three objects.
By adding one more object to their collection, they get to understand what addition is.
By removing one item from their collection, they will understand the concept of subtraction.
They will understand that the concept of numbers extends to practical applications and real objects.
It's not just a number.
They will grasp the lessons better this way.
Visual Visual representation helps kids understand the math concepts better by providing an image that would represent the problems best.
Bar models are usually used wherein a bar is used to represent the number.
The total will be represented by the whole bar which is then divided into smaller parts.
This helps the kids analyze the essence of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
They know that each part is essential to form the whole bar.
To teach the kids the difference of two numbers, two bars will be used so they will be able to compare and contrast.
Abstract This is what we're used to.
Only after a child can understand the concept of numbers and math applications through the first two methods will they be able to address a math problem in the abstract method.
They would make use of numbers and symbols in addressing mathematical problems to arrive at the correct answer.