National Numeracy has told BBC News that cultural attitudes towards maths need to be improved if we are to successfully import Asian-style teaching methods.
Schools Minster Nick Gibb announced yesterday that thousands more primary school children in England will be taught maths under an expansion of the teaching for mastery programme, based on teaching approaches developed in places such as Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong, where international comparisons show pupils markedly out-performing those in the UK.
The new teaching approach will be introduced in over 8,000 primary schools where teachers will be trained in mastery, an approach which involves whole-class, in-depth teaching of concepts which children must master before moving on to the next level.
National Numeracy Chief Executive Mike Ellicock told BBC News: “We really need to address cultural attitudes in this country which are very very different from the attitudes in Shanghai and the rest of China. It’s socially acceptable here to say ‘I can’t do maths’ and we need to challenge that very explicitly”.