Canada Falls out of the top 10 countries for Math
When the Organization for Economic Co- operation and Development released its International student achievement rankings in 2012, Canada fell out of the top 10 countries for Math. Beyond that, the pool of students at the lowest achievement levels grew while the number of students at the very top levels decreased significantly.
This called for reform– both through longer school days and new curriculum focus. According to the OECD, Canadian students now spend more time in Math class than any other country in the Western world and yet we are still under performing! This tells us the issue is not how much time a student spends at school; the issue is how efficiently their time is spent.
Prompted by the decline of Canadian Math test scores, an educational movement has been born. This movement focuses on getting students to understand the concept behind math rather than simply memorizing specific formulas.
Our goal at Aspire Math Academy is to have students develop a deeper understanding of Math and be better equipped to apply it to a variety of situations. Currently, Canadian students are showing symptoms of improper math reasoning. They lack initiative, perseverance and retention. These symptoms are coupled with aversion to word problems as well as an eagerness to be provided formulas. This is the same Math system that has brought significant Canadian student decline to our national ranking. The Canadian Math system has has provided destructive and ineffective Math education for decades.
We need to teach our students a new way forward by patiently seeking resolutions and utilizing flexible reasoning. The new BC Mathematics Curriculum attempts to utilize all of these topics. Although the BC Math Curriculum is new to us, it is strikingly similar to the curriculum implemented in Singapore, that has been seeing success for years. There it is referred to as the Singapore Method.
Singapore has one of the most admired education systems in the world. In the same study mentioned above, the OECD ranked Singapore as number one in mathematics followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Governments around the world have sought to incorporate elements of the Singapore Model into their own approach. Now with the new BC Curriculum, this finally rings true for Canada. So just what is Singapore Math and how is it going to help our students?