The United Kingdom Adopts how to learn math like the Chinese Study Approach

By OptiLingo

The United Kingdom hosts numerous elite institutions and universities around the globe. The schools, however, face different challenges including that the learners lag in their education. Students fail in specific disciplines including science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. Given this tragedy, the UK suffers a shortage in the number of skilled graduates. A recent comparison indicated that scholars from the United Kingdom underperform compared to learners from Britain and Asia in the STEM disciplines. More precisely, studies carried out for 15-year olds from the United Kingdom, and China ranked China in the fifth position and the UK in the 27th position.

1. Strategies for learning mathematics

The British governments decided to incorporate different strategies that will help boost the performance of the students in the mentioned subjects. The elements the governments suggested include

• The use of Chinese textbooks

The British governments resorted to utilizing Chinese books in the institutions in the UK. The state signed a deal with HarperCollins and Shanghai Century Publisher. The collaboration intends to deliver textbooks published for students in China for use in teaching Mathematics for the scholars in the UK. Colin Hughes, Collins’ Learning managing director, reported to China Daily that the textbooks have already been developed and ready to be sold for use by the institutions in Britain.

2. The primary Chinese Procedure for teaching math

Colin Hughes identified that there are numerous processes on how to learn math like the Chinese. The most identified method is the mastery approach, which constitutes a collective approach to studying. During this orientation, the whole classroom studies a single mathematical idea comprehensively, depending on the standardized textbooks. Often, the class is guided by a unified motive in that it does not proceed until the concept is understood fully.

The mathematics mastery approach is useful in teaching Mathematics because of its components. Keen planning and collective understanding characterize this approach.

• These know how to learn math like the Chinese contrasts the typical Western approach in different ways.

• Traditionally, the UK teachers would focus on a mathematical idea and leave the learners to work individually to understand the lesson.

• The previous teaching procedure in the United Kingdom depended on the students’ learning capabilities. Learners with high learning pace understood the subject in question faster than those with difficulties.

3. How the United Kingdom supports the program

The UK championed for this Chinese initiative supporting it in a variety of ways.

• Donating towards the course

Last year, the nation set aside approximately $50 million to be used in the implementation of the Chinese method in over 8,000 primary institutions throughout England. This is a vast program that requires financial assistance for its realization.

• Outsourcing China’s skilled teachers

Not only has the country outsourced learning material but also experienced teaching and instructors from China. The teachers who are flown from China train the British instructors equipping them with the necessary skills to pioneer the program. China intends to tutor 700 British educators for four years. According to Nick Gibb, the UK schools minister, the exchange initiative will influence the opportunities of the British scholars in the 21st century.

4. A teaching tutorial by Lilianjie Lu, a Shanghai primary school teacher

Lilianjie Lu played a vital role in guiding teachers on how to conduct a lesson of fractions using the Shanghai teaching model. During the session, other teachers noted down important notes regarding how to ensure the students thoroughly understand the concept at the end of the lesson. They identified the following strategy throughout the tutorial.

• Student involvement

During the lesson, Lu commenced by asking the learners to read out the fractions she had written. Often, she selected one child to read out, and then the rest of the class repeated after the kid. This repetitive process ensured that at least every learner has participated during the lesson. In the end, Lu asked the children to appreciate themselves through clapping, which serves as an encouragement and appreciation.

• The teacher’s involvement

Upon the completion of the casual reading, Lu took over as the teacher. She illustrated in a straightforward procedure on how to present a fraction. She explained the concept ensuring that every student understands where the numerator and denominator lie.

• Seeking inquiry from the students

Upon completion of teaching, Mrs. Lu inquired from the class if they have understood the idea and are capable of writing the fractions. To prove that they have understood, she asked the kids to write them down in their books as she speculated. In extreme cases, she called upon individual students to write the answers on the board.

• The use of repetition

Mrs. Lu attests on the relevance of redundancy in teaching. The similar procedure took place over and over again. As a regular curriculum, the Shanghai teaching approach focuses on embedding fluency, understanding and in-depth knowledge of mathematical concepts.

5. The differences between China’s mastery model and Western approach

There are numerous differences in teaching between the United Kingdom and China’s teaching model. The differences include:

• Individualist approach and collective learning

Teachers in western nations like the UK use the individualistic approach whereas Asian instructors prefer collective learning.

• The use of mindset in studies

The mindset idea governs numerous British institutions. Alex Vernitski of Essex University postulates that the mindset approach helps learners gain broader concepts in Mathematics. The lessons commence by the introduction of complex ideas, which are broken down into smaller and simpler steps. China barely uses this methodology.

• The specification of teachers

In China, teachers are trained to teach specific disciplines unlike in the West where they are generalized. As such, Chinese teachers are more knowledgeable on the subjects they teach, unlike the United Kingdom teachers. The mastery of particularly mathematics by the instructors allows them to transfer the knowledge keenly. This element contributes to the decision of the British governments to participate in the exchange program.

Focusing on China’s teaching will program, it is evident that the United Kingdom students will experience academic success in the coming years.

6. Criticisms of the mastery approach

Besides possessing many advantages, this model faces certain criticisms. Chinese parents have over time raised complaints regarding if their children are taught enough. They state that the teaching method is too narrow and impedes the creativity of the kids. They thus demand the enrolment of the Western approach.

However, the United Kingdom spots an advantage in trying to emulate the success of China in mathematics education.