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October 26th, 2011 | By Annie Lee | Life Style Opinion
The teachers from UK asking questions
January 17th, An English delegation of more than 50 teachers and deans from top 25 middle schools and primary school in UK came to Ningbo city in Zhejiang Province to attend math classes for learning and sharing.
They went to two schools: Ningbo Wanli International School and Ningbo Gaoxin Foreign Language School.
One UK headmasters said that Chinese kids’ are well known for their math abilities in the world. Teachers in UK always puzzled about why always the Chinese kids got the first prize in international math competitions? They came all the way here to China, aiming to bring some insights back about the math teaching.
Until the afternoon yesterday, they had listened four math classes. The result is that, they were totally shocked by the multiplication table and Chinese kids’ math skills.
Standing all the time through listening
During the math classes yesterday, the chairs for the UK teachers were all left unseated. They walked into the students, checking their textbooks, notebooks, and took photos with their cellphones. The Chinese kids did not let them down.
On student went to the stage and quickly wrote the correct answer of 24. This student said the answer can be quickly concluded through the use of multiplication table. The 12 teachers at the scene were surprised by the method.
One English teacher said they don’t have such multiplication table in UK. If they want to solve the problem above, the process will be like this:
10×3＝30，10×3＝30，4×3＝12，then add them up and get 24.
For this kind of problem, students in UK will have to learn through several lessons to solve them successfully.
But for kids, is it too hard to apply the Chinese way of education? One English teacher did not think so. He thought the standard of English education is too low.
Fail to learn the multiplication table, because of the pronunciation
After the math classes, UK teachers showed their interests in learning the multiplication table. But the dean of primary school, Zheng said that the multiplication table was a traditional method in China which cannot be easily learned by English teachers because of the pronunciation.
The multiplication table has five Chinese characters maximum, and is very clear at a glance. But when translated into English, the sentences will be too long. For example, “九九八十一” is translated as “nine nine eighty one”.
Although they failed to learn that, the experience was valuable. The teachers said that they were going to document this investigation into files and report them to the Department of Education of UK, which they hoped would be helpful to the primary math education in UK.
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