Singapore Math Fact Sheet

To address students' difficulties with word problems and low achievement in Mathematics, the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS) now known as the Curriculum Planning & Development Division (CPDD), developed the Model Method which advocates the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach.

1. Singapore Math

1980s   To address students' difficulties with word problems and low achievement in Mathematics, the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS) now known as the Curriculum Planning & Development Division (CPDD), developed the Model Method which advocates the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach. In this approach, students are provided with the necessary learning experiences and meaningful contexts, using concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations to help them learn abstract mathematics.
1982  
First published in 1982 as part of the national curriculum in Singapore, the Primary Mathematics series was the only mathematics series used in Singapore primary schools till 2001.

It was written and developed by members of a project team put together by the Ministry of Education, Singapore and co-published by Marshall Cavendish Education.

1990s - 2000s  

The mathematics curriculum was revised in 1990. Mathematical problem solving became central to mathematics learning and importance was placed on processes in mathematics learning. This resulted inthe Mathematics Framework, which became another important feature of Singapore education. It explicates the intention of mathematics education – to go beyond the basic acquisition of concepts and skills, and enable students to develop an understanding of mathematical thinking, problem solving strategies and an appreciation for mathematics in everyday life.

The framework was introduced to primary and lower secondary in 1990, and has undergone curriculum reviews in 2000 and 2003 to reflect the rapid changes in a highly competitive and technologically driven world. This framework was extended to all levels in 2003.

 

2009   The Singapore Model Method for Learning Mathematics, a monograph to serve as a resource book on the Model Method will be launched in April 2009. Co-published by CPDD and Marshall Cavendish Education, it makes explicit how the Model Method is used to develop students' understanding of fundamental Mathematics concepts and proficiency in solving basic mathematical word problems.

1.1 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)

  • The Internationalconducted the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) since 1995. This is a study of Mathematics and Science achievement of Grade 4 and Grade 8 students in different countries every 4 years. Singapore is consistently in the top ranking countries in 1995, 1999, 2003 and again in 2007.

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  • At advanced mark, 74% reached the high benchmark and 92% reached the intermediate benchmark. The corresponding international averages are 5%, 26% and 67%
  • At advanced mark,70% reached the high benchmark and 88% reached the intermediate benchmark. The corresponding international averages are 2%, 15% and 46%

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1.2 Index of Students' Positive Affect Toward Mathematics (PATM).

Among the top-ranking countries in Mathematics performance, more Singapore students students from Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei or Korea.

Grade 4 PATM High Attitude Medium Attitude Low Attitude
Singapore 71% 14% 15%
Hong Kong 67% 15% 19%
Japan 62% 21% 17%
Chinese Taipei 50% 21% 29%
 
Grade 8 PATM High Attitude Medium Attitude Low Attitude
Singapore 60% 20% 20%
Hong Kong 47% 22% 31%
Chinese Taipei 37% 18% 45%
Korea 33% 23% 44%
Japan 30% 30% 40%

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2.Singapore Math in the United States

1998   www.singaporemath.com started distribution of Primary Mathematics in USA.
2003   Launch of Primary Mathematics (US Edition)
2007   The California Department of Education approved the Primary Mathematics (Standards Edition) for use in all kindergarten and elementary schools in the state of California.
2008   The Primary Mathematics series was approved by the state of Oregon for use in all kindergarten and elementary schools in Oregon.

 

  • Number of adoptions of Primary Mathematics: 31 states (out of 50)
  • District-wide public school adoption at North Middlesex Regional School District, in Townsend, Massachusetts, 2000.
  • The largest public school district adoption to date is Hall County Schools, in Gainesville, GA, which has 22 elementary schools.
  • Over 700,000 school children have used Primary Mathematics both at school and in home school environment. There are also a substantial number of parents supplementing their children's school program by tutoring at home with Primary Mathematics.
  • A study of Singapore Math conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) for the US Department of Education (released in Jan 2005) concluded, " What the US needs overall are the sound features of the Singapore Mathematics system." In studying several different American school districts that were experimenting with the program, including North Middlesex, Massachusetts, AIR researchers found that the introduction of Singapore Mathematics textbooks can produce sizeable improvements in student outcomes.

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3. PRIMARY MATHEMATICS & OTHER SG MATH SERIES

  • The Primary Mathematics series was at the heart of the Singapore's national math curriculum as it achieved its successive TIMSS victories. First published in 1982 as part of the national curriculum in Singapore, it was the only mathematic series used in Singapore schools till 2001.
  • In 2002, the Israel Foundation for Math Excellence and the US-based Rosenbaum Foundation bought the rights to translate 10,000 copies of Primary Mathematics 1 and 2 textbooks and workbooks into Hebrew and to distribute them to schools in Israel.

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  • The Standards Edition of Primary Mathematics was approved by the State of California and Oregon.
  • My Pals are Here! Maths and Shaping Maths are two mathematics series developed in 2002 and published by Marshall Cavendish Education. Approved by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, they are used in over 95% of schools in Singapore today.
  • Over 25 countries around the world have adopted the Primary Mathematics series published by Marshall Cavendish Education. These include South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Chile, Panama, France, Germany, USA, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan.