And so it begins...

The concept of "Shanghai Maths" is EVERYWHERE, and is being touted as the "right" way to teach mathematics. 

So, I've decided to have a look for myself. What is "Shanghai Maths"? Why are people so keen on it? Why are others not keen at all? Can I transfer the "Shanghai Maths" methods to my FE classroom? Should I bother?

Today I start a 13 week "Action Research" project to make up my own mind, and to answer the question "What is all the fuss about?"

The 2012 PISA (OECD Programme for International Student Assessment) results were published in December 2013. A sample of over 500,000 students aged 15 or 16 took part in the tests which rated 65 countries by their levels in Maths, Science and Reading. The tests were a mixture of multiple choice and open ended questions.

The mean score for all countries in the Mathematics strand was 494. Shanghai scored highest at 613, and the lowest was Peru at 368. The United Kingdom was bang on "average" at 494. On a side note, the Science mean was 501, and the Reading mean was 496. The UK's scores in these strands was 519 and 499 respectively.

All of the PISA data is available HERE .

Some headline comparisons:

This news report from 2013 discusses reasons for Shanghai's apparent success. 

My task this week is to research the "key elements" of a Shanghai lesson, distil those elements into action points, and then plan how to incorporate them into the teaching of one of my classes.

I will also baseline test the chosen class, ready to measure their progress over the next 13 weeks.