2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival 2013
Organized by Galileo Enrichment Learning Program
February 9, 2013
Held at Crowne Plaza, Manila Galeria, Philippines
What did I benefit from 2nd Singapore Math Learning Festival? Sure I can share a few model approaches I learned from this event. My worries is that our child is about to enter grade school, how can we meet the needs and availability of a progressive school with integrated Singapore Math curricula (if I wanted to pursue it). With average resources my family has and limited schools available (based on our vicinity) to enroll at. How can I ensure she gets quality education, proper teaching method, quality teachers, holistic approach and creative environment?
Dr. Queena Lee-Chua even says the appropriate age (at this point in time for Philippine education) to introduce Singapore Math to children is from the Prep stage. Meaning, teaching it to a middle grade student will initially create confusion between Singapore Math and the traditional Philippine Math; and division on the learning patterns of the child. Better to start exposing the model approach to younger children. Now the challenge for the Philippines’ Department of Education is how to integrate the learning approach to schools nationwide? For private schools, there are higher chances because parents of these students are willing and able to pay for additional fees that will be covered for the Singapore Math curricula. While for the public schools, there are existing problems and a lot of things to improve before striking new methods get in the way. By way of speaking, Dr. Queena Lee-Chua also re-iterates that schools administrators who are planning to go full blast with Singapore Math will have to face a rather (in reality) difficult path of conceptualization, in a way it is possible they can integrate it but it will take time and effort. Consider teacher training – can these teachers adopt with ease, consistency and be efficient to handle Singapore Math?
Mathematics, calculations and formulas can be solved with different methods depending on the person’s accuracy and ability to solve math problems. At this time, Philippine education has been adopting significant changes such as the introduction of innovative learning and teaching methods. “Parents, teachers, and school administrators now have new approaches in ensuring a child’s future success.“
With the implementation of K-12 curriculum this year, the Department of Education extends the basic education until the 12th grade. “The new program provide students with additional time frame to get a grip on essential skills and competencies, and will be given technical and on-the-job training to fully prepare them for college and or land a job after graduation.”
The Singapore Math vs. Philippine Math “In line with DepEd’s initiative, educational institutions in the Philippines are now making adjustments in their curricula and adopting the “Singapore Math” method.
The “Model Approach”, one of the key features of Singapore Math, was used since the time of Greek mathematician Euclid, adopted and popularized by Singapore in teaching school children how to analyze and solve Math problems. This method ignited interest among educators and mathematicians after Singapore consistently topped the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study’s (TIMSS) rankings for Math in the last ten years. This new method goes beyond memorizing tables and formulas and uses boxes and brackets for seemingly difficult problems. Thus, students are able to understand Math lessons better, lessening their fear of Math.
The Galileo Enrichment Learning Program held the country’s second Singapore Math Learning Festival last February 9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Center, Quezon City. Educators, school administrators, teachers and parents gathered for a day of fun and learning to why Singapore Math is a global phenomenon, how it makes Math easier, how to use it in teaching Mathematics and how it helps in building the culture of thinking among young children.”
Galileo CEO Rowena Juan Matti, in her opening remarks, welcomed approximately 400 delegates from different schools in the Philippines. Ms. Fe Hidalgo, one of the convenor of the K-12 program and president of the Foundation for Upgrading Standard of Education, gave the keynote speech.
Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, Math professor and multi-awarded educator, with her son Scott Chua, multi-awarded student and Carlos Palanca awardee, shared their experiences and ideas during the plenary lecture.
The conference was indeed packed with excitement and new learnings as notable Math educators from schools who have adopted Singapore Math shared their expertise and experiences during breakout sessions.
Ms. Shiarell Loida Cruz talked about the basics of Singapore Math, while Ms. Milona Baracca talked about using Math at home and elsewhere. She shared ideas on how to engage a child in fun home activities while learning Mathematics in the homeschool setting. Mr. Tom Chu shared techniques in understanding, analyzing and solving word problems. Galileo Operations Head Maribeth Lamis shared instructional ideas on Singapore Math manipulatives and activities to enhance thinking skills.
“Teachers also learned how to equip students with a deep understanding and appreciation for fractions and geometry through Singapore Math in Dr. Flordeliza Francisco’s session. Dr. Emmanuel Cabral talked about how students can have a solid foundation for algebraic success through Singapore Math, while Mr. Joseph Palattao discussed implementing Singapore Math in the classroom with exciting projects and showed that Singapore Math can be used in real-life situations. Ms. Michelle Flores shared ideas for school administrators with her talk focusing on how Singapore Math can supplement existing Math programs and curriculum to create better Math students.
With lessons gained through the Festival, educators, school administrators, parents and teachers can now enrich the knowledge of more students, help them children build on the skills they need to prepare them for college and their career and hopefully shape the future of the next generations.“
I was told from one of the teacher attendees of the event that most high-end schools tend to add extra fees for a Singapore Math curricula. How about our public schools? Will the Department education provide our public teachers with the right amount of Singapore Math understanding and training in order to earn qualification? Remember that poor families cannot afford tutorial centers and that the budgets for Education Dept. seem to always cut lowered. How can Philippine education geared up with quality teachers when they cannot even facilitate classrooms in remote areas? When they cannot provide adequate school chairs, books, supplies? When teachers’ allowances doesn’t rise up?
Exposure to model approach and quality teaching are correlated. From now, only the selected few can afford it.
Selected video talks and lectures will be available soon via deiville channel on YouTube channel covering topics from the following resource person:
Fe A. Hidalgo, Ph. D. – President, Foundation for Upgrading Standard Education
Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, Ph. D. – Multi-awarded educator, Professor for Mathematics and Psychology Department (Ateneo de Manila University)
Scott Chua – Multi-awarded estudent (Xavier School) and Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature
Dr. Vicente Chua Reyes, Ph. D. – “The Singapore Math Phenomenon: A Macro Perspective”
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A social media practitioner and digital branding specialist with an alter ego of “Green Dei” in the digital arena, she curates page for entrepreneurship, creatives and community. Daryll Villena is the Chief Editor and creator of DeiVille, Foodamn Philippines, Public Toilet Philippines, and Storytelling Philippines. Connect with her on Instagram via @greendei and on Twitter @greendei for useful tips on digital branding, entrepreneurship, consumerism, parenting, health talk, women talk, Pinoy travels and Manila lifestyle. For collaborations and proposals email her at deiville.com(@)gmail(dot)com