Monday, May 01, 2017

Mathematics Methodologies

The rise of pay-to-play extra-curricular educational options in recent decades has transformed the landscape of traditional education.

Private tutoring, for example, is no longer regarded as a mark of shame; in fact, it's often a source of pride ("My tutor is Joe Hotshot ... who's yours?").

In tandem with the explosive birth and rapid growth of the private tutoring industry in the U.S., a multitude of companies now offer group math tutoring in various styles and flavors. Some of these champion distinctive pedagogic approaches and programs with almost evangelical passion.

Below are some of the better-known, with notes on each:

Russian School of Mathematics
RSM posits that kids can and should be taught abstract thinking and higher-order reasoning skills (e.g. algebra) from a very early age. Results are impressive.

Singapore Math
Successful national mastery learning model emphasizing a three-step pedagogic approach (concrete, pictoral, abstract) and fewer concepts more deeply learned.

Kumon Method
Worksheet-based math and reading systems. Though currently out of fashion, the "drill and kill" mastery learning approach reintroduced by Kumon works. Quite well.

Aloha (Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic)
Malaysian learning programs emphasizing brain development science and left-right hemispheric integration. Math programs teach mental abacus calculation.

Vedic Math
Indian system of mental calculation based on Vedic Mathematics by Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha. Udemy courses here and here. YouTube instructional videos here.

IXL
Proprietary IXL technology is used by one out of nine American children and over 200,000 teachers (2018). Originally math only, now multi-subject. Details here.

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