Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Wednesday 8 July 2015
English>>People's Daily Online Exclusives

Why do Shanghai pupils love math class?

(People's Daily Online)    10:15, July 08, 2015
Kids play with seven-piece puzzles to solve math problems. (Photo/People's Daily)

"Math professors love to teach classes in Shanghai," said the Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman of Shanghai New York University, "You can never find so many talented students with such a solid math foundation."

Since 1990, Chinese students have won 18 championships in the International Mathematical Olympiad. In the past years, the excellent performance of Chinese students in SAT has also stunned American students. What most astonished the world was when Shanghai students first attended the test co-hosted by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and won first place with absolute predominance. There are 65 countries and regions participating in this test. For each test, specialists randomly select 15 students to take the test.

Last year in November, 60 Shanghai primary school teachers went to the United Kingdom and taught local students with their own math materials and methods. The spectacle attracted many local British math teachers to come and observe. In February 2014, the British Undersecretary for Education and Childcare Liz Truss paid a visit to several primary and high schools in Shanghai. After listening to some math classes, she commented that Chinese students were nothing like she’d thought, that they only knew how to cramming. Instead, the children were all very excited for classes, they actively answered questions and even came to blackboard to help each other solve puzzles.

What is the secret of the excellent performance in math?

Various approaches to teaching, encouragement in imagination and self-improvement, and a combination of western and eastern education are the three keys Shanghai math teachers adhere by.

Paper folding, seven-piece puzzles, simulated grocery shopping…All of these methods teachers like to employ as ways to teach math. There have been many prejudices that indicate Chinese students always memorize knowledge mechanically, but now the encouragement for students’ imagination, emphasis on teachers’ expertise, and stress on in-service training and group sharing are comprehensively implemented at schools in Shanghai. In addition, teachers believe that the best math teaching should be a combination of the East and the West — basic logical skills and divergent thinking are of equal importance.

As the British teachers concluded: teachers are very professional and value self-improvement and experience sharing. They have both traditional and modern teaching beliefs that have children learn through playing. Various ways of teaching take only small steps at a time, and require students to acquire knowledge from various aspects.

This article is edited and translated from 《上海小学生为啥爱上数学课》,source: People's Daily, author: Jiang Hongbing

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Liang Jun)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words