This is the Englsih translation of the information on Chilean Ministry of Education website.
Ministry of Education will begin to apply Singapore method for learning of mathematics
Textbooks used for teaching this methodology will be delivered in March 2011.
40 000 children of first and second grades in 300 schools across the country will be involved.
In a seminar organised by the Ministry of Education and delivered by one of the experts of the Singapore method for teaching mathematics, Dr. Yeap Ban Har, principals and teachers were given an understanding of the method.
Dr. Yeap Ban Har, PhD in mathematics education, was for many years an academic at the National Institute of Education of Nanyang Technological University. During the seminar, he explained that the teaching of mathematics must not be such that many students do not learn it well. He said, "I have seen taught classes of Chilean students and they have the same potential as children in my country. It is possible that they also enjoy mathematics and have high achievement."
The methodology applied in Singapore has resulted in the series of textbooks "Thinking without Boundaries" or "Pensar sin Limites in Spanish. The books are for students in the first six grades.
The Mineduc will deliver the book to about 40 000 students in first and second grades in 300 educational establishments of the country, both public and private subsidized schools, which constitute a representative sample of schools in the country.
For Barbara Eyzaguirre, coordinator of educational standards of the Ministry of Education, "It is important for Chile to achieve progress in the training of students in mathematics and for this we must consider policies that help students so that they can actually achieve an international standard."
During the seminar in Santiago, some teachers from schools that are currently using this method, highlighting the good results achieved by their students.
This learning system aims to develop reasoning abilities and the ability to solve problems, with three major focus: focus on the visualization of mathematical problems through the use of diagrams, using an approach that allows progress from concrete to the pictorial to finally reach the abstract, and a deep understanding of the concepts, logical thinking and mathematical creativity - in contrast to the application of formulas without meaning.
To achieve these goals, Dr. Yeap Ban Har explain that spiral curriculum plays an important role, where students encounter core ideas for several years, but each time with different degrees of depth. In addition, practice with systematic, gradual variations is important.
This method is based on a problem-solving approach and relies on the use of visuals, concrete materials and good practice, will be implemented in schools in Chile from next year.