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What is the ‘Asian method’ of teaching Maths?

 

What it is ‘Asian Method’ of teaching Maths?

The ‘Asian Method’ of teaching Maths, different to the way ‘we teach maths’ is also known as the ‘mastery’ approach and originates in the Far East, being used in regions such as Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong. It first came to England in 2014 but an additional 8,000 schools will be offered the chance to teach it after a government announcement earlier this month – meaning that half of primary schools may adopt the method.

How is it different?

The first major difference is that children would be taught as a whole class rather than being split up depending on their perceived mathematical ability. The idea is that the whole class progress at the same speed, with those who grasp concepts more easily being encouraged to deepen their understanding rather than getting ahead of classmates.

The method focuses on building a depth of understanding across all students in the class with the support of high quality textbooks. Students are encouraged to visually represent mathematical concepts and to ‘begin with the answer’ – i.e. pupils could be given the answer to a problem before working through the steps that get to it. Rather than a teacher explaining a concept and then students practicing individually, the teacher will teach pupils interactively at a more regimented pace.

 

Why is it spreading?

The reason the mastery approach is spreading is largely due to 15 year-old students in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong out-performing their peers in other countries, such as the UK and the USA, in international tests.

Pros

The most significant advantage is that no pupil in the class gets left behind and the ‘less able’ are not demoralized by being placed in a ‘lower performing’ group. Theoretically, this should empower children and ensure that they all have the best chance of scoring highly and there should be less disparities between classmates’ results. It also ensures that pupils do not fall behind and then find it increasingly difficult to catch up as the academic year progresses.

Cons

The downside of a whole class progressing together is that it puts social pressure on pupils who may find the lesson more difficult. These students may feel anxious and resent their lessons. Having such a regimented system of learning may also negate creativity amongst pupils as their thinking becomes more formulaic with a group. It is also important to note that using international tests to determine ways of teaching doesn’t take into account other factors that might impact performance. For example, Maths teachers in China are trained for 5 years and more specifically to the age level they will teach, whereas training in England is much shorter.

Do you think that the Mastery Method should be introduced into our educational system or is our current system working well as it is?

Please get in touch with us via our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to let us know your thoughts.

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BLOG EDUCATION Fun

Summer tutoring programmes

We discussed in a previous blog how important it is to avoid the ‘summer slide’ that children suffer whilst away from school for up to six weeks. Tutoring programmes are both the perfect way to negate the summer slide but they serve an even greater purpose when it comes to preparing children for higher education and even employment later in life.

 

       We’re going to look at the link between summer tutoring and better employment skills and prospects.

 

There is a range of summer programmes available to children of all ages. These programmes can be utilised to develop academic skills as well as increasingly important ‘soft’ skills and a positive attitude towards work and education. Getting children into the habit of working towards a goal not directly related to school or the classroom is a great way to show children that dedication in other areas is equally valuable. Unless someone grows up to be a teacher, they are unlikely to ever enjoy regular six week holidays during their employment.

 

Similarly, people who go on to be incredibly successful professionals or business owners often work outside their normal hours and
are truly committed to their career. Many of our summer programmes actively encourage children to think and behave in a more enterprising way. It’s incredibly important that children adopt traits such as resourcefulness and independence, especially as they move
towards higher education and these skills become imperative to performance.

 

     Here’s where tutoring programmes specifically crafted for the summer break become so valuable.

 

The modern world is developing so quickly, as is the world of work. There are jobs today that simply didn’t exist as little as five or ten years ago and this is a challenge facing educators across the developed world. Whereas schoolteachers are bound to a restrictive curriculum, private tutors have the freedom, especially in the summer to focus on a range of topics and skills. This enables tutors to continue developing academic skills like literacy and numeracy whilst building in new skills. Children in the modern world must ‘learn to learn’ and be able to grasp new technology and ideas quickly. Creating a mindset that helps children see hurdles as challenges rather than obstacles is one of Genie Tutors’ main focuses.

 

Humans are the master adaptors but we only adapt when provided with new stimulus. All of our tutors are passionate about developing a full range of skills in students to better prepare them for the coming academic year, further education and the world of work.

 

If you’d like to know more, please enquire through our contact page.
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BLOG EDUCATION Fun Games

Our Top Tips For Keeping Minds Active Over Summer Holidays

Last week, we shared our thoughts about the proposed reform to school summer holidays, following reports that a Yorkshire Council shortened the school summer holiday by a week to help students retain the information they had learned throughout the school year.

Regardless of your stance on this debate, it has been proven across numerous studies that on average, students score lower on tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer (on the same test).

So how can you keep your child’s brain active throughout the summer break and minimise the effects of the summer slide? Here are our top 9 tips!

 

  1. Get cooking!

With step-by-step recipes, not only do kids get the opportunity to practice their reading skills, but work on following instructions and are encouraged to be creative when decorating. Through working with measurements, scales and quantities, budding chefs are improving their mathematical knowledge whilst having fun (and, causing quite the mess)!

 

  1. Read!

It may sound obvious, but if no time is put aside for reading then it can easily fall by the wayside. Making sure that you read your child a bedtime story a few times per week, or ask them to read to you whilst you run errands can really help ensure that they stay on top of their learning.

 

  1. Let them organise trips!

If you’re planning a holiday or a day trip, set your little one the task of planning the logistics around the trip. Give them a map to see if they can trace your proposed route, get directions and research prices of attractions. This not only will help improve their geographical, English and math skills, but teaches them some vital critical thinking.

 

  1. Look for the lessons out of every activity!

If you are planning on visiting another country, get talking about the history of the place whilst you are there. Taking a trip to the beach? Engage your children in a discussion about ocean life and the water cycle. Even a day out at the cinema can be engaging if you talk about the storyline and the lessons learnt through the narrative.

 

  1. Keep a diary

Give your kids a plain notebook and art supplies for them to decorate however they’d like and encourage them to keep a diary with a summary of their summer holiday activities in it. This will get them working their artistic skills, handwriting and English – it will also keep them busy for a good half hour of the day, which can’t be bad!

 

  1. Join an activity group

Get them to join a local activity group. Whether it be a group based in sport, arts or even gaming, being involved in an activity outside of school or home will keep their social skills sharp come September and allows them polish their teamwork skills.

 

  1. Play games!

Putting aside an hour per week for a family board game session is not just fun, quality family time, many of them offer learning opportunities. Monopoly is great for brushing up on adding and subtracting through money handling, Scrabble is perfect for improving spelling and expanding vocabulary and if you don’t have time to sit down with them, set them some Sudoku puzzles! If you want something a little different you could try Days Of Wonders Games. Ticket to ride is a great game for basic arithmetic.

 

  1. Find their passion.

At Genie Tutors, we know that learning isn’t all about grades and stats, it’s about giving children the best opportunity to chase their dreams. That’s why you need to show an active interest in their interests and passions, however fleeting. Perhaps they love fashion, car racing, cooking or even One Direction. Either way, put their love to good use and get them to research their interests and keep a scrap book of their favourite things.

 

  1. Sign up for Genie Tutors!

Love all these ideas but haven’t the time? We understand the struggle that summer holidays can present for working parents. Our centers throughout the country help children engage in interesting learning activities and limit regression over the summer holidays. This allows children to transition smoothly into regular education again in September and be ahead of the curve for the new school year. Find your nearest center here.