Friday, September 3, 2010

Marshall Cavendish holds the First Singapore Maths Global Forum

Delegates from 15 countries gather at Singapore’s first international forum for exchange of experiences and strategies on the Singapore Maths pedagogy

Marshall Cavendish, a member of the Times Publishing Group, is holding the first Singapore Maths Global Forum from 2 September 2010 to 4 September 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Singapore. The international forum, a first in the history of Singapore Maths, serves as a platform for local and foreign education professionals to exchange strategies and experiences in the teaching and learning of the Singapore Maths curriculum. It aims to facilitate the betterment of Maths education and raise the level of proficiency of students in Maths around the world.

Attendees of the forum comprise curriculum specialists, teachers, education ministry representatives and international organisation representatives from 15 countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, South Africa, the United States and Chile. In addition, local representatives from the National Institute of Education, Ministry of Education, schools and textbook authors are also present at the forum.

According to Lee Fei Chen, Deputy Head of Publishing, Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group, “Our goal is to facilitate dialogue on the strategies and best practices of the Singapore Maths pedagogy.  It is timely, if not critical, to create and maintain a platform for  the policy makers, adopters, users  and industry watchers to come together to ensure the relevance and advancement of the pedagogy now accepted and practised in some 35 countries. We are extremely proud to be part of the ongoing collaborative process where our stakeholders tell us how to make Singapore Maths material even better for learners around the world.”

The Singapore Maths curriculum was launched in 1982 and revised in 1992 with a new focal point in problem-solving. The curriculum was created by the Ministry of Education in a bid to address the problems Singaporean students were having in comprehending Maths concepts. The programme has since evolved into one of the best and most effective pedagogies in the world with Singapore students consistently ranked among top nations in international comparative studies since 1995. Schools in over 35 countries around the world have adopted the Singapore Maths textbooks, published by Marshall Cavendish, with several adaptations to local curriculum requirements and languages. 

Forum Highlights

Country Case Studies and Global Perspectives
The forum offers a rare window into the school classrooms of the world through country presentations. Several discussion panels of delegates from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and the United States, will offer insights into the implementation of Singapore Maths and preparation of school teachers in their countries. Dr. Marito Garcia, Lead Human Development Economist of the World Bank, will present the global perspectives on Singapore Maths and Science at the forum.

International Survey Findings
A highlight of the conference is the sharing of the key findings of international surveys that measure the success of the Singapore Maths curriculum in the adopting countries. Presentations include the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS), The Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation Survey in America and The ORT Survey in South Africa.

The Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation Survey is a six-year longitudinal statistical study on the effect of Singapore Maths on student proficiency in the North Middlesex Regional School District (NMRSD) in Massachusetts. The survey is the first and only statistical study on the effectiveness of Singapore Maths. The NMRSD schools used Singapore maths textbook series which includes the Marshall Cavendish-published Primary Maths textbooks differing from the other Massachusetts school districts.

The results from analyses show that:
i) Participation in Singapore Maths classes has a positive impact on student Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test scores,
ii) The duration of student participation in Singapore Maths classes has a greater positive impact on test score gains than Singapore Maths participation at any particular grade level and
iii) Beginning Singapore Maths in early grades improves the curriculum’s effectiveness.

“As the publisher of Singapore Maths textbooks, Marshall Cavendish is very proud to know that the use of textbooks books published by Marshall Cavendish has a positive impact on the students’ Maths grades. The survey is one of the many global examples demonstrating the efficacy of Singapore Maths.” said Lee Fei Chen, Deputy Head of Publishing, Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group.

Professional Teaching Trends
The forum also looks at the professional development trends and teaching strategies for teachers to improve their overall teaching efficiency. A recent trend that will be covered in the forum is the pervasive use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools. A Singapore case study to be presented will look at how ICT is used in education including the teaching of Maths for an added interactive and enjoyable experience.

“The Singapore Maths curriculum has been carried out in Scarsdale Public Schools for two years and it has definitely proven to be a cutting-edge curriculum for our school and students. The programme has instilled a strong foundation in mathematical concepts among our students, increasing their overall mathematical competency. I am looking forward to learning more about mathematics teaching in Singapore and networking with educators from other countries that are using Singapore Maths in order to continually improve maths teaching and learning in Scarsdale,” said delegate Mr. Bill Jackson, Math Helping Teacher, Scarsdale Public Schools, New York, the United States.

To learn more about Marshall Cavendish, please visit

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