Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Change vs. Improvement

Singapore success and teacher quality
in the Christian Science Monitor

Why Singapore is another model for teaching excellence
It's an honored and very selective profession – and teachers are highly paid.
By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

From the article ...

When he asked a Singapore official about the basis of their math curriculum, she cited a standards framework put out by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics – in the United States. West Virginia's curriculum takes guidance from the same source, Mr. Paine says. "So the question remains, why is it that they lead the world in student achievement? I think it's because of their teacher quality," he says.

West Virginia's curriculum takes guidance from the same source....

Let us look at how that plays out.
Pick up a Singapore Math book from grade 4.
Compare it with any grade 4 USA text produced from NSF reform math dollars.

You sure could fool me that these are both based on guidance from the same source.

A huge variable in all this comparison talk remains instructional materials.
Singapore Math was born out of incremental change that produced fine effective and efficient text books.
NSF dollars produced NSF funded materials that were a change but it is not a change that improved the math instruction of 50 years ago.
Singapore produced a positive change the NSF just produced a change.

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