Tarrytown, NY, 5 November 2014 – Educators across the globe are searching for ways to improve performance and confidence in Math in their students. Earlier this month, international education policymakers, ministers of education, curriculum specialists and educators, representing 16 countries across five continents, convened in Washington, D.C., for the Marshall Cavendish Education Conference 2014.
Held for the first time outside of Singapore, the global event offered a rare opportunity to share success stories and to learn proven strategies that enabled the successful implementation of Singapore’s world-class curriculum in different educational landscapes, as well as discuss the lessons and challenges faced.
A key component of the conference included school visits in Washington, D.C., where delegates observed Singapore Math® in the classroom. Administrators and teachers from Maury Elementary School, a D.C. public school, shared their journey of implementing Singapore Math® after a parent initiated the new curriculum adoption in 2009-2010, with an incremental implementation in 2010-2012 and full implementation in 2012-2014.
“Our school saw a huge difference in student Math achievement,” says Carolyne Albert-Garvey, principal of Maury Elementary School. “In 2008-2009, 30 percent of students in grades third through fifth scored proficient in Math compared to 69 percent in the 2013-2014 school year.”
Vivian Cheng, Area Director at Marshall Cavendish Education (U.S.), said the conference served as a springboard for an international conversation about the importance of Math and Science in a global economy and how schools using the Singapore Approach will give students a competitive edge. “Here in the United States, we are seeing an increase in school districts looking for new math curriculum to meet the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) while simultaneously providing a solid foundation and understanding of Math that sets students up for success throughout school, college and career,” says Cheng.
In the recent Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States ranked 36th in Mathematics out of 64 countries and 28th in Science, while Singapore has consistently topped the list in both Math and Science. Thirty years ago, the Singapore Ministry of Education partnered with Marshall Cavendish Education to develop a Math curriculum that focused on metacognition, teaching to mastery and problem solving. With these collaborative efforts, Singapore has risen to the top of yearly global benchmarks, as has its economy.
Delegates from countries around the world, including Panama, France, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago attended the conference hoping to one day achieve similar success in Math and Science.
A large number of school administrators and Math specialists from the U.S. attended the event to learn more about the challenges and successes of implementing Singapore Math®.
Highline Public Schools, near Seattle, Washington, sent a team of Math specialists, saying it provided their team a rare opportunity to attend a multifaceted professional development conference to ensure that their teachers are prepared with tools and instructional strategies to utilize any resource for teaching students the CCSSM. Highline Public Schools switched their math curriculum to Singapore Math® nearly four years ago.
“The conference confirmed that our use of Math in Focus®, along with other strategies, has put us on the right path toward implementing the CCSSM. Ensuring that students are learning in a meaningful and transferable way is a complex and ever-evolving process. Simply buying new instructional materials is not the sole solution,” said Katie Randall, Math specialist for Highline Public Schools. “Engaging and transformative professional development is one of the key strategies that must accompany Singapore Math® resources.”