left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Lesson in UK's math move

Updated: 2016-07-20 08:52
(China Daily)

Lesson in UK's math move

Wang Chengjun from Shanghai gives a class at Wroxham School near London. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

According to media reports, the Chinese way of "math teaching" is set to be introduced in the United Kingdom's primary schools.

According to the program, children as young as 5 in more than 8,000 primary schools in England will be required to practise sums and exercises, and they must master each concept before moving on to the next.

The move has its origins in the results of the mathematical ability tests in the Program for International Student Assessment in 2012, in which students from Shanghai ranked top while students from Britain ranked 26th. Since then, England has welcomed over 120 teachers from Shanghai to share the secrets of their success.

Given that China's "spoon-feeding" educational model has long been controversial at home and abroad, the latest plan to imitate Chinese math teaching in English primary schools may ignite a sense of pride among some Chinese.

However, any jingoism over the move reflects a lack of self-confidence in our education system. If our own teaching methods are believed by ourselves to be perfect, why do we subconsciously care so much about how others look upon them?

In fact, there is no need for us to feel proud of the top scores Chinese students achieve in the international tests aimed at assessing the math ability of students from around the world.

Such tests are not based on the assessment of all qualities of contestants and to rank first does not necessarily mean students from that country have better prospects than students from others.

Real self-confidence usually comes along with modesty and a sense of self-confidence can be developed only after one looks up to his or her shortcomings and cultivates his or her ability to continuously learn from others.

The UK's swift action to adopt Chinese math teaching methods is something we can learn from.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.