Presentation on theme: "Singapore Math: How It Can Help Improve U.S. Mathematics Learning"— Presentation transcript:
1 Singapore Math: How It Can Help Improve U.S. Mathematics Learning Alan Ginsburg*U.S. Department of EducationChair, APEC Human Resources DevelopmentPresentation to Maryland State Board of EducationMay 28, 2009*Opinions are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the viewsof the U.S. Department of Education or APEC
2 Presentation Outline Importance of primary mathematics. Can we compare U.S. and Singapore?Results from U.S. pilots of Singapore Math.Comparing Singapore – U.S. math systems on:FrameworksTextbooksAssessmentsTeachersSingapore and other math standards online.
3 Presentation BasisGinsburg, Leinwand, Anstrom, and Pollock (2005). What the United States Can Learn From Singapore’s World-Class Mathematics System And What Singapore Can Learn From the United States. American Institute for Research
4 Neglect of U.S. Primary Mathematics Performance “In our K-12 we were doing okay at the 4th grade, we were doing middle-of-the-road in the 8th grade, and by 12th grade we were hovering near the bottom in international tests related to math.” Tracy Koon, Intel’s director of corporate affairs, quoted in T. Friedman, The World Is Flat (2005)NCES, National Academy of Sciences, and Business Roundtable have drawn similar conclusions about U.S. students’ primary-level international mathematics performance.Proposals to reform U.S. mathematics instruction have largely ignored primary grades.
5 U.S. Math Scores Are Substantially Below Asian Average at Grade 4 Source: TIMSS 2007 (Mullis, I., Martin, M., Gonzalez, E., and Chrostowski, S. (2008). TIMSS 2007 international mathematics report.
6 Is Singapore too Different from the U.S. for Comparison? Size: 500,000 pupils, which is a little bigger than the Chicago Public Schools and a little smaller than Connecticut.Population: Racially diverse student body – 75% Chinese, 15% Malaysian, and 10 % Indian.Expectations: Singapore students are 2.5 times more likely than U.S. students to receive high-levels of math homework (8th grade TIMSS).
7 Results From U.S. Pilots of Singapore Math Pilot SiteCharacteristicsResultsNorth Middlesex, MassSmall district with stable populationLarge increase in percent of high-performing students (advanced level)Baltimore City Ingenuity ProjectProgram for gifted studentsLarge increase in high performing students and those above 75th percentileMontgomery County, MDSuburban school district with mixed income populationTwo of four schools showed substantial gainsPaterson, NJPoor school, over 40% annual student turnoverNo improvement over controlsWashington, DCHigh-poverty, mostly LEPLarge increase in proficiencySource: Ginsburg, Leinwand, Anstrom, and Pollock (2005); DC 2008 results reported under NCLB
8 Why is Singapore Math Successful in Singapore? The components of Singapore’s system – frameworks, texts, tests and teacher prep – are carefully aligned and reflect a higher quality than comparable U.S. components.See Education Commission of the States: International Benchmarking Toolkit (2009).
9 Math Frameworks: Singapore’s 2005 Topics and Outcomes Grades 1–6 TotalTopicsAvg. Topics /GradeAvg. Grades /TopicOut-comesAvg. Outcomes/GradeNo.Ratio to Sing.Ratio toSing.RatiotoSingapore4015—2.323239California42201.32.930551Florida5184.108.40.206401072.7Maryland462220.127.116.111569New Jersey50283.41.5336561.4N. Carolina41181.21.121736 .9Ohio48263.3370621.6Texas192.826544
11 Example: Singapore Exposure to Fractions Grades 2-6 Primary 2: Concept of fraction as part of a wholePrimary 3: Equivalent fractionsPrimary 4: Fraction of a set of objectsFraction of a quantityImproper fractions & mixed numbersAddition and subtraction of fractionsPrimary 5: Concept of fraction as divisionProduct of fractionsPrimary 6: Concept of fractions as ratio
12 MD. VOLUNTARY STATE CURRICULUM – MATHEMATICS PREK – 3 KNOWLEDGE OF NUMBER RELATIONSHIPS AND COMPUTATION/ARITHMETICGrade 1Grade 2Grade 32. Apply knowledge of fractionsa) Read, write, and represent fractions as parts of a single region using symbols and models with denominators of 2 or 4b) Read, write, and represent halves as parts of a set using pictures and modelsa) Read, write, and represent fractions as parts of a single region using symbols or models with denominators of 2, 3, or 4b) Read, write, and represent halves or fourths asparts of a set using symbols, words, and modelsa) Read, write, and represent fractions as parts of a single region using symbols, words, and models· Assessment limit: Use fractions with denominators of 2, 3, or 4b) Read, write, and represent fractions as parts of a set using symbols, words, and models· Assessment limit: Use fractions with denominators of 2, 3, or 4, and use sets of 2, 3, 4 items, respectively
13 Singapore and U.S. Treatment of At-Risk Students Supplementary after-school instruction lead by a specially-trained teacher (Grade 1+)Weaker math students identified for special track with more instruction and same content but at a slower pace (Grades 5-6)Students streamed based on Primary School Leaving Exam (Grade 7+)U.S.Compensatory education often taught by untrained teacher aidesNo Child Left Behind holds students to same standards and highly-qualified teachers.Hold schools rather than students accountable.
14 Textbooks: What We Examined Singapore’s two texts and two workbooks at each grade published by Ministry of EducationU.S. TextbooksTraditional Text – Scott-Foresman Series (80% usage in elementary grades)Reform Text – Everyday Mathematics (20% usage in elementary grades)
15 Grade 1: Singapore Textbooks Have Fewer Lessons, More pages per Lesson, and More Pages of Exercises # Chapters# LessonsTotal PagesAverage Pages/ LessonPages of DevelopmentPages of ExercisesOther PagesSingapore183449715174(35%)261 (53%)62 (12%)Scott Foresman121575644145(26%)169 (30%)250 (44%)Ginsburg & Leinwand (2005). What the U.S. can learn from Singapore’s World-class mathematics system, AIR
17 A Straight Forward U. S. Gr A Straight Forward U.S. Gr. 6 Pie Chart Problem Involving Summing to a TotalCost of Raising a Child to Age 18 (for each $100)
18 A Singapore Gr. 6 Pie Chart Problem Requiring Strong Conceptual Understanding by Incorporating AnglesSource: Singaporemath.com Inc (2003). Active Primary Math Series
19 How Challenging Are the Singapore and U.S. Assessments? % Multiple Choice% Multi-stepFinding an Intermediate UnknownSingapore – 6312519%Florida – 852128%New Jersey – 885330%North Carolina – 61008North Carolina – 855%Ohio – 674174%Texas – 672%Texas – 86NAEP – 46415NAEP - 86021
20 A Singapore Grade 6 Hard Problem You Won’t See on U. S A Singapore Grade 6 Hard Problem You Won’t See on U.S. Grade 8 State AssessmentsSource: Singapore MOE
21 Singapore Math Challenges U.S. Teachers in the Following Ways: Automaticity (e.g. mental math).Deep understanding of math concepts.Student-centered rather than teacher-centered textbook – fill-in omitted lesson materials.Builds on prior concepts.Vision of how to teach lessons.