K-12 Students in Singapore Using Singapore Math® Curriculum Top the World in Math and Science for 20 Years

Singapore Math® students earn #1 ranking on 2015 TIMSS and PISA international achievement tests after consistently using education publisher Marshall Cavendish’s curriculum

TARRYTOWN, NY, Jan. 24, 2017 – Marshall Cavendish Education, publisher of Singapore Math® textbooks Math In Focus® and Primary Mathematics, proudly announced that its math and science students in the Republic of Singapore scored first internationally again on the 2015 Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). These students have topped the world in math and science for 20 years now. Marshall Cavendish Education (MCE) dominates the Singapore school market, with all of the primary schools using only its science curriculum and 75% exclusively using its math curriculum. The same curriculum and teacher training that propelled Singapore Math® students to the #1 ranking on both the 2015 TIMSS and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) achievement tests is also helping to turn around American school districts and improve students’ performance in math on state assessments.

While many factors contribute to students’ success, a common thread in this story is  MCE’s collaborative role with Singapore’s Ministry of Education in the development of Singapore Math® curriculum and teacher professional development courses. As a result, Singapore students have consistently performed the best out of 60 countries studied by the TIMSS. Singapore students scored 100 points higher in math than students in the USA, which scored below the top 10 out of 60 countries. These results have been consistent over a 20-year period.

The Singapore Math® pedagogy emphasizes teaching students to think and persevere when solving problems. In addition to demonstrating math content mastery, Singapore Math® students are able to apply their knowledge and conceptual understanding to solve problems. These important competencies provide a strong foundation for higher education and continuing learning throughout their lives.

MCE’s holistic approach to learning and teaching is fundamentally changing math education in the United States by providing teachers with the same pedagogy, curriculum, supplemental materials and digital resources that have put its Singapore students at the top of all global math performance studies. The company has been successfully helping American students at many K-8 schools to get on the right track and measurably improve their performance in math on state assessments. MCE offers adapted and aligned to Common Core State Standards core math curriculum and textbooks for the USA as Singapore Math® Math In Focus® and Primary Mathematics, as well as 16 customized In-School Professional Development courses for teachers, each containing six hours of mathematics content woven with Singapore Math® pedagogy that equips teachers with strategies and best practices to provide great teaching for every child.

Eight two-year comparisons between 2013 and 2015 of state test scores at different school districts using Singapore Math® in New York, New Jersey and Nebraska with at least 400 and as many as 6,400 students showed significant improvement. The comparisons were done during the year students began using Singapore Math® textbooks and the year before. They show improvements in student’s math achievement at every set of participating primary grades 3-5 or middle grades 6-8. Every grade level of participating students at each school district gained at least 3 percentage points and most gained 9 or more percentage points after implementing the curriculum. Third graders at Southern Valley School District in Oxford, NE made the greatest improvement out of all the comparisons, with a whopping 37-percentage-point climb to 89% of those students scoring at levels 2 (meets) and 3 (exceeds) on their state assessment. The average gain among all participating grades in Southern Valley was 23%.

According to Paul Castiglione, Vice-Principal of Middle School at North Haven, CT, his public school district’s students in grades 3 to 8 scored well above the state average by as much as 21 percentage points in math on the 2015/16 state SBAC test after using Singapore Math® textbooks. Every grade level improved their 2014/15 math scores by 14 to 31 percentage points in 2015/16.

Singapore Math® pedagogy changed the way teachers planned and delivered instruction from a classroom,” said Castiglione. “What was once a teacher-led classroom where the teacher did the vast majority of talking and explanations, turned into a student-led classroom. Over the last seven years, we have been able to see that both teachers and students have a better understanding of the meaning behind the math by using the conceptual understanding of concrete, pictorial and abstract approach.”

“Our district adopted the Singapore Math® series as the primary instructional resource for K-5 mathematics approximately five years ago,” said Dr. Corrine Edwards, Director of Learning, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for Saginaw Township Community Schools in MI. “Since that time, we have experienced the value in expanding its uses throughout grade 8 and coupling the use of this resource with job-embedded and sustained intensive teacher professional learning and training. All of which has resulted in a district-aligned K-8 math curriculum and model for Tier I instructional practices and approaches to teaching and learning that puts and keeps each and every one of our students at the center of our work. Our student achievement scores provide evidence of the ongoing benefits of these efforts.”

Hoover Herrera, Professional Development Manager, International, at MCE, trains teachers in the USA, Latin America and around the world. All MCE professional development staff are trained directly in Singapore for authenticity and consistency.

“What is different in Singapore Math® classrooms, is that we are interested in finding answers to math problems, but our higher goal is to get students to think deeply when faced with a problem,” said Herrera. “Sometimes we give the answer, but want students to give different ways to solve the problem. There is lots of talking and dialogue among students. It is not teacher-focused. We use ‘model drawing’, using bar models that work great for visualizing problems. We give students tools and strategies to problem-solve. Math is an excellent vehicle for a person to develop their problem-solving abilities!”

Math In Focus and Primary Mathematics
Singapore Math® Primary Mathematics textbook series for grades K-6 is the adapted version of the internationally respected mathematics materials MCE created in collaboration with the Singapore Ministry of Education. It follows the five key learning models integrated in the Singapore Math® Approach: Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach, model drawing, teaching-to-mastery, metacognition and spiral progression. Primary Mathematics curricula also include a digital courseware that engages students for differentiated learning and gives teachers easy-to-use tracking and management features.

Singapore Math® Math In Focus for grades K-8 is adapted from Singapore’s My Pals Are Here math series. This series aims to ensure that students strengthen critical thinking and reach mastery of concepts, computational skills and problem-solving and its applications to real-life situations. Math In Focus combines research-based print components with online resources that make math engaging and accessible to students. Content is developed using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Approach, which allows students to master math concepts, develop critical thinking and strengthen problem-solving skills. The series includes eBooks, interactive whiteboard activities, online activities, both concrete and virtual manipulatives, and a Bar Modeling app that provide students with hands-on experiences that lead to positive attitudes towards math and increased confidence as they grow in the subject.

Singapore Math® Primary Mathematics and Math in Focus textbook series are available in print format with digital components. Math In Focus is sold through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Primary Mathematics is available only through Singapore Math, Inc. Singapore Math® In-School Professional Development courses may be scheduled through MCE. For information, visit http://www.mceducation.us/professional-development/, call (800) 821-9881, or email customerservice@marshallcavendish.com.

Marshall Cavendish Education
Marshall Cavendish Education (www.mceducation.us) is the authentic provider of Singapore Math® educational solutions. For nearly 40 years, Marshall Cavendish Education has been a leading academic publisher of K-12 math textbooks, workbooks, and digital curricula, as well as a respected provider of professional development for educators. With headquarters in Singapore and US offices in Tarrytown, NY, Marshall Cavendish Education has been on a mission to revitalize math instruction in classrooms worldwide. The company’s products have been adopted by educators and embraced by students in over 50 countries.

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Julie Gates for Marshall Cavendish
562-429-5972 or jgatespr@yahoo.com

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