What Is Singapore Math?

Singapore student practicing math problem on chalkboard
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Singapore Math is a series of math curricula that was originally created by Singapore's Ministry of Education to use in Singapore schools. In 1998, Jeffery and Dawn Thomas moved back to the U.S. after living in Singapore and introduced parents, teachers and educators to math concepts and textbooks from Singapore. The Thomas family believed that Singapore math was superior to U.S. math curricula. They patented the name "Singapore Math" and have helped public, private and home school educators to incorporate Singapore-inspired math concepts into their existing curricula.

The Teaching Process

The Singapore Math program focuses on logical problem-solving methods that progress from one concept to the next. Some Singapore Math learning disciplines have been drafted into the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For example, Common Core supports Singapore Math's goals of introducing fewer topics for students to master each year, but includes more in-depth coverage of those concepts.

Superstar Results

According to the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, conducted by the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and supported by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, fourth-grade students in Singapore had the highest average mathematics scores out of all the countries included in the study. Eighth grade students in Singapore had the second highest math scores, surpassed only by students from the Republic of Korea.

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