It is a truism, that government policy in the content and process of education is not generally informed by considerations of how people do things elsewhere.
There is little interest in how they teach things in other countries generally as the belief, correct to a point, that how they do things elsewhere is dependent on a whole range of cultural elements which makes new methodologies and techniques not transferable from one country to the next.
The two exceptions to this observation are:
1. When a country is sliding down the OECD education effectiveness scale whilst another country seems to be rising at meteoric pace
2. A technique from abroad appears cheaper to implement than existing methodologies.
A case in point has come up with the teaching of Mathematics. In East Asia a different technique is being praised as providing a sound foundation for the teaching of the subject which equips learners to work with greater accuracy and dexterity with increasingly more complex material.
This article outlines both the technique and the implications of implementing it in the UK…
About six months ago I released a paper discussing the reason for East Asian success in the OECD PISA survey of 15 year olds’ skills and knowledge in reading, mathematics and science, focussing largely upon the role of home background and culture. I have been somewhat overwhelmed by the number of people who have shown an interest in this paper and who have contacted me about this work since. Today, I present some evidence on the other side of the story – the ‘impact’ of East Asian teaching methods on children’s mathematics test scores.
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