During my visit to Universidad del Pacifico, I had the good fortune to use this problem with a third-grade class in a public school and a fourth grade class in a private school, both in Chile. I have taught many lessons using such and other problems to primary school children in Singapore. In the public school, the children were less confident. In the private school, they were more so. In Singapore, some classes were closer to the class in the public school and others were more similar to the class in the private school. In some of these classes, the children had stronger basics. In others, the basics were not quite in place yet. In Singapore, the children spoke in English. In Chile, they spoke mostly in Spanish. Singapore students often performed well in international comparative study. Chilean students, less so.
But the potential of the Chilean children was not any less than that of Singaporean children. The Chilean kids were as engaged as the kids in Singapore. They were just as enthusiastic in trying to solve the problems. Their faces lit up when they managed. They looked puzzled when two of their friends gave conflicting information. They discovered for themselves who was right. They did all these and more, just like Singaporean kids.
I learnt that kids everywhere have the same potential. I believe that given the same opportunities kids everywhere will reach the same pinnacle.
EL Mercurio News