The UK continued to expand cooperation with China in mathematics education to improve its students’ mathematical ability, Xinhuanet.com reported.
During British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to China earlier this year, the UK and China reached agreements on a series of educational cooperation programmes with total value of 550 million pounds (about 4.79 billion yuan), including extending the England-China math teacher exchange programme to 2020, according to BBC.
Through the programme launched by China and the UK in 2014, the Chinese decimal multiplication table, which can assist people to memorize multiplication up to 9×9 with ease, was introduced by Chinese math teachers to British students.
British media, including the Guardian, reported that Chinese teachers are bringing the art of math to British schools.
What impressed British teachers a lot is Chinese teachers’ unique teaching methodologies.
British media said that students are required to acquire the same knowledge repeatedly, and their ability is gradually improved as the courses goes deeper. In addition, Chinese math teachers continually correct errors that students make to make sure that all students can keep up with the course.
The Chinese teachers’ method in teaching math is not rote memorization, it attaches much importance to the understanding of concepts, said Charlie Stripp, director at the National Center for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (UK), adding that remembering the multiplication table is the foundation for students to learn math.
Moreover, since September 2017, some UK primary schools adopted math textbooks, exercise books, and teachers’ guides published by the Shanghai Century Publishing (SCP), which were widely welcomed by British students and teachers.
Test results of the 2013 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that Shanghai students ranked on top for math, while British students ranked 26th.
The Department for Education of the UK announced in July 2016 that it would allocate $54 million for 8,000 primary schools in the country for the purpose of introducing math learning methods from Asian countries, especially China.