Around 60 Shanghai math teachers are being sent to England’s schools to raise standards, the BBC reports. The announcement follows UK Education MInister Elizabeth Truss’ visit to Shanghai last month to observe schools’ teaching methods in the subject. Apparently she likes what she saw.
The proposals to bring 60 English-speaking maths teachers from Shanghai is an attempt to learn from a city that has been the top performer in the OECD’s Pisa tests.
The OECD says that children of poor families in Shanghai are on average better at maths than middle class children in the UK.
The Shanghai teachers, expected to arrive from the autumn, will help share their teaching methods, support pupils who are struggling and help to train other teachers.
The teachers will be based in 30 “math hubs” that are partnerships of the schools.
“We have some brilliant maths teachers in this country but what I saw in Shanghai – and other Chinese cities – has only strengthened my belief that we can learn from them,” Truss said in the BBC report.
Christine Blower, leader of the National Union of Teachers, pointed out that test results from Shanghai did not represent China at large.
“The suggestion that all of China’s students perform well in mathematics is a myth. The government’s evidence for this comes from the Pisa findings of 2012 data which is based on the results of one particular province of China: Shanghai. This is home to the wealthiest and most highly educated Chinese citizens,” she said.
Shanghai’s 15-year-olds ranked top in the 2012 international Pisa tables for math, although experts have dismissed the rankings as “meaningless“.
[Image Credit: Mouzzy]