Education is a very sensitive topic when it comes to implementing the right policies. From professionals well-versed in the topic, to the very students who are being taught, feedback for reform is constantly being addressed. Nonetheless, there remains a large gap between the performance of some of the most advanced countries in the world and the United States of America. As it stands today, USA is arguably the most technologically advanced country and the outright leader of the free market. For over a century this nation has been exceeding expectations in nearly every industry known to man and aiding the rest of the world in their endeavors for a higher standard of living. Yet, there seems to be something critically wrong with the way a large majority of the younger generation are growing up. How can a country so respected in the world fall so far behind in what is considered the basics of human education: math and science? The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is a series of assessments taken by countries all around the world to determine the strength of their youth's knowledge. Since its inception in 1995, TIMSS has been conducted every four years with an increasing number of participating countries and students each time. In 1999 U.S. eighth-graders placed #19 in the world for mathematics and #18 for science (Appendix Fig. 1). In the years following, and further detailed in the thesis, the U.S. managed to improve the overall performance by a small margin but still remained a leg behind countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, and more. Clearly these countries were doing something right as they consistently managed to rank in the top tier. Over the course of this paper we will observe and analyze why and how Singapore has topped the TIMSS list for both math and science nearly every time it has been administered over the last two decades. What is it that they are teaching their youth that enables them to perform exceptionally above the norm? Why is it that we cannot use their techniques as a guideline to increase the capabilities of our future generations? We look to uncover the teaching methods of what is known as Singapore Math and how it has helped students all over the world. By researching current U.S. schools that have already implemented the system and learning about their success stories, we hope to not only educate but also persuade the local school districts on why integrating Singapore Math into their curriculum will lead to the betterment of the lives of thousands of children and the educational threshold of this great nation.
- When is Cheryl's Birthday?: A Proposal on Why Local K-8 Should Implement Singapore Math
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