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Shanghai teachers

(33 Posts)
teachersaspirations Thu 13-Mar-14 20:17:27

I wonder what the Maths teaching fraternity's view on teachers being bussed in from Shanghai to show how to teach Maths?
I presume this applies to state schools only

Shanghai teachers flown in for maths

BaBaSheep Fri 14-Mar-14 11:56:36

I think the important ingredient is the can do attitude that is lacking in our kids and many parents and teachers. I don't believe there is a quick fix for the problem. Maths is a subject that require to learn and practise therefore homework. It is like learning music you learn your practise until you get it right then move onto the next stage. Although g and t will be an advantage if you haven't got that then just practise and think more to make up. I believe something like an average of 15min daily individual homework away from classroom environment will help a lot. But then in this country so many people don't believe in the usefulness of homework. I am interested to see what the Chinese teachers comments are re our learning attitude.

LaVolcan Fri 14-Mar-14 12:19:47

Our whole attitude needs to change: the 'I am no good at maths' attitude, as though it's something to be proud of. Very few of us would boast that we couldn't read. A handful of Chinese teachers aren't going to affect this change. Having people with maths/science and engineering qualifications in positions of status might begin to.

BaBaSheep Fri 14-Mar-14 12:40:11

Also many Chinese kids believe in 'I can do better than my parents.' And ' I don't to have to live the way my parents live.'. I believe a better attitude towards learning need to change and develop from day one in primary school. Their want to be better than their parents drives them to work hard and take advantage of their schooling opportunities. Can our kids do that?

BaBaSheep Fri 14-Mar-14 13:00:07

Sorry for the errors above.

teachersaspirations Fri 14-Mar-14 17:51:09

Agree with Volcan wrt 'I am no good at maths'
that seems to be too cool to say
Also I think a lot of the problems are inherited from primary schools
and already too late or very difficult to rectify at secondary schools
the methods of teaching multiplication for example & the teaching of the tables
so it would be interesting to see the conclusions of the Shanghai team

PiqueABoo Fri 14-Mar-14 19:44:15

Shanghai is a special case:

Chinese makes arithmetic easier, both the size of the words and the consistent structure.

And so on...

All in all a bit of a waste of money for very little to make it look like certain politicians are doing something useful instead of selling state education off to their friends.

BaBaSheep Fri 14-Mar-14 19:51:47

I totally agree the problem started from the beginning of primary school stage. If we lost our kids during primary school stage we could lose forever. I believe the focus should be on the very young children. I believe one of the Chinese methods is practise and practise until it becomes a second nature then one can see the enjoyment of maths.

teachersaspirations Fri 14-Mar-14 21:57:21

baba practise & practise is what we use to do
I think the primary school curriculum has been hijacked by all and sundry and the 3 R's are in detention

PiqueABoo Sat 15-Mar-14 01:09:14

What we might learn from China:

Outside, an angry mob of more than 2,000 people had gathered to vent its rage, smashing cars and chanting: "We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat."

According to the protesters, cheating is endemic in China, so being forced to sit the exams without help put their children at a disadvantage.

Cerisier Sat 15-Mar-14 02:02:02

Back in the late 80s and early 90s when the National Curriculum came in and started to percolate through we noticed that our Year 7 students transferring from Juniors knew less maths than previous cohorts.

The NC is great in many ways but lots of schools now do less maths than they used to twenty years ago. Inevitably this has a knock on effect.

In Shanghai I bet they do more hours of maths per week than the average UK school and the students have ambitious parents (who will beat their children if they fall out of line).

CharityCase Sat 15-Mar-14 02:30:51

Having people with maths/science and engineering qualifications in positions of status might begin to.

What you mean like all those investment bankers making millions? Banking, accountancy, and IT are all well paid sectors and a disproportionate amount of people in those sectors have maths and science A-levels. The evidence that maths and science degrees can translate into high salaried positions is there. People just choose to ignore it. Maths and science are still seen as uncool vs. the liberal arts.

My personal view is that if you're born after 2000 and you want to make some money, you need to get yourself a STEM degree. This is the age of the geek.

hellokittymania Sat 15-Mar-14 02:32:18

Boo, that's not fair to say. From which media source was it taken?

Chinese students, along with Singaporean, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, study so much and if they do cheat, I believe pressure has a lot to do with y are enrolled at language centers,

Vietnamese kids attend classri from 7~5 And have "extra classes" at the teachers' homes. Many are enrolled in language classes, too. They go to school on Saturday and study at the teachers' homes on Sunday.

They perform well because of their work ethic and attitude, not because they cheat.

hellokittymania Sat 15-Mar-14 02:45:38

Good article. I'd like to point out that students who "drop out" do so in order to work, help in the fields. Education isn't free.

hellokittymania Sat 15-Mar-14 03:05:37

In Singapore, students taking the PSLE (year 6) can attend a "boot camp." 93.8 live advertises it as well..

Different attitude to education....

I read a book awhile ago called Top of the Class. It was written by a Korean immigrantre and talks about why Asians thrive at school.She mentioned how if she failed, it was a family failure, not just her own. Her family also gave up trips to Disney, dinners at restaurants, etc so they could send one of their daughters to a math camp.

Sorry for the typos, am visually impaired and using a screen reader.

LaVolcan Sat 15-Mar-14 07:46:08

Having people with maths/science and engineering qualifications in positions of status might begin to.

What you mean like all those investment bankers making millions?

No, I was thinking more of politicians - your Camerons and Johnsons who read PPE at Oxford etc.. Being one of those said geeky people myself who used to work in Govt. research in IT a) the lack of understanding from politicians was woeful - Mrs Thatcher for all her other faults, was something of an exception and b) our pay was OK but we certainly weren't making millions.

deliverance Sat 15-Mar-14 08:07:48

Chinese teachers will be used to obedient and compliant children. How will they fair with UK students.

CharityCase Sat 15-Mar-14 10:51:35

LaVolcan- ah, sorry I misunderstood what you meant. I thought you meant that kids didn't see people with maths backgrounds succeeding in life. I see what you mean now.

JasonOgg Sat 15-Mar-14 11:12:08

I have a friend who has just come back from China looking at how they teach maths over there. One key difference is the amount of homework set and he child/ families attitude to practising at home what has been taught in school. They also do very little of the "extras" like history, geography, music, art, pe etc. VERY focussed on the core subjects. Not saying this is better or worse, just different.

PiqueABoo Sat 15-Mar-14 13:08:21

"Boo, that's not fair to say. From which media source was it taken?"

Oh that's from the very same source that very fairly tells us nearly every day that all our children are absolutely rubbish at everything including the chunking, all teachers are blobby Marxist slackers in thrall to their unions, we must hand over state assests to their friends and financial backers [presumably so they can stuff yet more tax-payers money in off-shore accounts] and that yet another country has the solution to all our woes.

So the new fashionable exemplar is top-table Shanghai, a quite special part of a rather blobby nation which ermm.. has more than a passing association with Marxism. That they top the league tables is akin to skimming off the results from Kent's grammar schools and calling that entirely representative of England.

Follow my earlier link to that Tom Loveless trilogy of articles re. Shanghai and PISA. Go read about the effect of the language on maths (the Welsh apparently have it worst). Seek and you will find lots more to tell you what happens in school is only a fraction of the story there, but that's also a universal truth i.e. we hugely over-state the influence of schools and teachers on outcomes. Still I suppose it all keeps enough people scared and thus paying for private education, tutors and the like.

Also contemplate why we do well enough in TIMSS maths but not so well on PISA maths. You have to look at real questions for that research to work effectively and I trust that any competent secondary maths teacher who has done the same will agree that TIMSS is more direct school-stuff whereas PISA is tilted towards comprehension with it's little stories and multi-step problems. If we want league-table success we could decide to teach to PISA style maths-literacy at the expense of this or that (I wouldn't miss some of the flowery literary analysis or teaching children to write acres of empty prose on the off-chance they get a job in marketing), but then we might end up like another top-table country Finland where if you look closely you can find people whispering about the cost of their success in PISA maths, the Peter behind the Paul.

I really don't care whether people agree with me about the complexity behind the simplistic, trite headlines, but surely we're not so credulous to believe that is isn't complex and a few Chinese teachers spending a little time in a few of those schools with the ambitious celebrity HTs will make a difference?

bevelino Sun 16-Mar-14 10:45:02

My Chinese friends say that the West is given access to a very narrow understanding of Chinese education that everyone is super intelligent and achieves high marks in math. Furthermore, that in reality Chinese academic performance is varied just like anywhere else.

Vietnammark Mon 17-Mar-14 16:38:07

The average Vietnamese students puts a lot more hours of study in than the average western student, however they are not as dedicated to study as the Chinese and Koreans.

The PISA tests seem to be designed perfectly for them:

Maths: they study a lot of this
science: they study a lot of this
Reading: their language is totally phonetic, largely monosyllabic and has a limited vocabulary. It only takes a few months to learn to read Vietnamese.

When the PISA tests start to include further subjects I believe that the Vietnamese will fall sharply down the rankings.

Picquaboo mentions that parents/ caregivers are more important than schools. I believe research in western countries agrees with this and I believe this is probably the main reason that students' academic achievements in the UK vary so greatly.

Students in the UK spend a lot of time with their parents because they don't study much. Students in the Asian countries I have mentioned spend much less time with their parents and much more time studying. I believe this largely eliminates the impact of the parents and academic achievements of students in these counties varies a lot less, I believe.

hellokittymania Mon 17-Mar-14 17:22:04

Vietnammark, it only takes a few months for Viet kids to learn to read, but the vocabulary is huge. I can read and understand most books and newspapers (even Lao Dong) but if I ask a friend to explain a word I don't understand, sometimes even they don't know.

hellokittymania Mon 17-Mar-14 17:24:36

Not all Chinese kids are obedient.

Vietnammark Tue 18-Mar-14 02:43:12

Hello kitty

My comment on how easy the Vietnamese language is, is for native Vietnamese speakers to learn and not for foreigners to learn. For foreigners to learn it can be a very frustrating language.

Vietnamese has a small vocabulary, in over 20 years here I have never seen a Vietnamese person look up a Vietnamese word in a dictionary. Newspapers are easy to read as they use the same vocabulary over and over again, so not much to learn there.

Vietnamese often say one word has many meanings, which I interpret as Vietnamese doesn't have enough words. Saying this I still believe English words have more meanings than Vietnamese words, just look at the word "set".

Vietnamese is dead simple language language for native Vietnamese speakers to learn compared to native speakers of English learning English. example of how easy it is to learn. January is month 1, February is month 2, etc. so here is 12 words that you have to learn in English where in Vietnamese there are none to learn, assuming you know the word "month" and the numbers from 1-12. Yes there are some examples where Vietnamese vocabulary is more complex than in English, but they are few are far between.

Btw, I only know about 5% of English words, and I am reasonably up on my Latin and Greek roots.

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