Career & Education

Ja urged to adopt Singapore math model

Sunday, September 17, 2017

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PR1ME mathematics specialist from Singapore Kelly Lim Kai Ling says that Jamaica could become a world leader in mathematics by adopting the teaching methods of the south-eastern Asian country.

Singapore is regarded as the best in the world in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Lim Kai Ling was addressing hundreds of primary school mathematics teachers, coaches and specialists who participated in the Amazing Mathematics Powers workshop held recently at the Shortwood Teachers' College in Kingston.

The participants at the three-day workshop were exposed to the Singaporean approach of teaching mathematics, which focuses more on critical thinking skills and less on drill and practice.

Lim Kai said that Singapore stresses mastery for all of its children, who will have the creative, problem-solving skills that the country requires.

“Mathematics is the vehicle to approach problem-solving,” she pointed out, noting that the core principles of mathematics are understand the problem, plan your approach to the problem, answer the problem and then check to see if you are correct. She said proficiency in mathematics is a higher indicator of success in life than any other element.

According to Lim Kai Ling, research done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has shown that classroom size does not matter. Rather, it is the skill of the teacher that is important. In Singapore, there are 40 students to a teacher.

Clinical psychologist and life coach in Jamaica, Dr Rose Johnson, who was a facilitator at the workshop, gave the teachers pointers on how to boost outcomes by improving life in the classroom.




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