Why Singapore math

Many parents concern that if Singapore math will confuse the student as they were taught in a different method in school.  In fact, it is just opposite.  Singapore math Model Method helps students to clarify the concepts when they have confusion by learning from school.  Once after they have understood the concepts, they can always go back and use the method taught by school.

The usual method taught in school is abstract and if this is the only method being taught, many students have difficulty in solving problems.  They will resort to learning by rote.  On the other hand, the Singapore math Model Method makes use of a pictorial model to illustrate the concept.  Explanations of solution steps are exceptionally clear.

Here is an example showing how model method can visually help students to understand fraction - the most seen problem for 3rd graders. (link to source)

United States Ranking
Percentage of 4th-grade students who reached the advanced international benchmark in mathematics

Source - National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/timss/figure11_2.asp

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) average mathematics scores of 4th-grade students

Source - National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/timss/table11_2.asp

Singapore math

USA math

  Russian math




Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) International mathematics score

Source - http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-snapshot-Volume-I-ENG.pdf

Singapore math

 USA math

Russian math

International Average





California Ranking

California ranked 46 out of 50 states in 2013 average mathematics scale scores for public school 4th grade students.

Source - National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_222.50.asp


Research and Studies
The American Institutes for Research had done a study funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The study "What the United States Can Learn From Singapore’s World-Class Mathematics System (and what Singapore can learn from the United States)" identified major differences between the mathematics frameworks, textbooks, assessments, and teacher preparation in the U.S. and Singapore. Link to the summarized report
One of the key strengths identified by the study is "Singapore’s textbooks build deep understanding of mathematical concepts while traditional U.S. textbooks rarely get beyond definitions and formulas". Here are links to a few sample contents