Instructor at Singapore Math Institute at Worcester State University

Worcester State Hosts Fifth Annual Singapore Math Institute

August 21, 2015
By: Guest Contributor

Worcester State recently hosted its fifth annual Singapore Math Institute workshop, which draws teachers from across the nation to learn about the instructional methods and math textbooks of Singapore. Students in Singapore regularly score at the top of international studies of math performance.

More than 60 teachers from around the country, including N.Y., Conn., Pa., Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were in attendance for this year’s conference, which was sponsored by The Marshall Cavendish Institute. Mathematics Professor Richard Bisk, Ph.D., who created the program in 2007, was pleased that things went smoothly. “It’s our fifth year, so we’ve worked out a lot of the kinks,” he said. The conference features break out sessions and presentations by guest speakers.

Singapore math methods have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, and for good reasons, says Bisk. “Because the mathematics concepts in [U.S.] textbooks are often weak, the presentation becomes more mechanical than is ideal,” he said. “We looked at both traditional and non-traditional textbooks used in the US and found this conceptual weakness in both.”

Guest speakers and instructors included: Yeap Ban Har, an internationally renowned education speaker, as well as the principal of the Marshall Cavendish Institute; Juliana Loh, Singapore’s first “Master Teacher,” the pinnacle position in education, as well as an award-winning educator and author; and Hoover Herrera, a teacher and educator affiliated with the Marshall Cavendish Institute that has worked in both national and international school systems.

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