British schools value Shanghai-England maths teacher exchange

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 28, 2019
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An exchange scheme that gives teachers in England the opportunity to share experiences with counterparts from Shanghai has positively influenced the teaching of maths in British schools, a report concluded Friday.

The long-term study on the Shanghai-England Maths Teacher Exchange, carried out by Sheffield Hallam University, has had a positive influence on the way maths is taught in the schools that took part, according to the report.

The findings have been published this week as the latest delegation of teachers from Shanghai visited schools across England to showcase their mastery teaching approach.

In a statement published by Britain's Department for Education on Friday, the School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said the maths exchange has shown the power of international collaboration.

Gibb said: "Standards are rising in our schools, with 84 percent of pupils now attending good or outstanding schools compared to 66 percent in 2010. We have looked towards the best education systems in the world to help drive this improvement and our work with China has been a key part of this."

"As this report shows, the Shanghai-England Maths Teacher Exchange has been a positive influence on our schools, with the lessons learned from it having demonstrable effects in classrooms. There has, for example, been a marked increase in the number of primary schools using whole class teaching rather than seeing pupils split by attainment."

He added that "we will continue to work with our peers in Shanghai to share the practices that our high performing education systems are based upon."

The report is based on a longitudinal study carried out between 2015 and 2017 that aimed to assess benefits for schools and pupils. It found that British teachers valued the exchange as a positive professional development experience and teachers said they gained enhanced subject and teaching knowledge and increased confidence.

Participants also reported that they could apply experience gained from the exchange to other aspects of the curriculum, according to the report.

The Shanghai-England Maths Teacher Exchange was launched in 2014. Since its inception, over 700 teachers from England and Shanghai have participated in the exchange.

A total of 85 teachers from Shanghai are currently in England taking part in the return leg of the most recent phase of the exchange.

Afshah Deen, who is a year-2 teacher at Parkland Primary School in Wigston, Leicestershire, took part in the exchange. "Seeing maths teaching in Shanghai and observing how lessons are planned and then discussed and refined by teachers there has been the most interesting and rewarding professional experience of my career.

"I've literally questioned everything I've done for the last eight years of teaching. It's really inspired me to be a better maths teacher," Deen said.

The maths exchange program also supports British government's work to take the total number of English schools benefitting from the East-Asian style maths Teaching for Mastery program to 11,000 by 2023.

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