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UK education officials seek math-teaching tips in Shanghai

Updated: 2014-02-24 08:04
By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai ( China Daily)

British Education Minister Elizabeth Truss and a delegation of experts began their visit to Shanghai education institutes on Monday to learn about the city's teaching methods, especially in mathematics.

The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission said that Truss and the delegation will visit the commission and Shanghai Normal University on Monday afternoon, and they will tour three public schools - a primary, a middle and a high school - on Tuesday.

The delegation will get firsthand information on the math classes and teaching methods in Shanghai, which topped the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment for math. Britain came in 26th.

The British Education Department said the visit is the latest step in the government's drive to raise teaching standards in math at British schools.

"Shanghai is the top-performing part of the world in math. Their children are far ahead. This visit represents a real opportunity for us to see firsthand the teaching methods that have enabled their young people to do so well in math," Truss said in a news release.

The three schools selected by the British are Shanghai Fushan Foreign Language Primary School, Shanghai Jianping West Middle School and Shanghai High School. Each has its merits in teaching and boasts stunning results in math, the Shanghai Education Commission said.

Wu Guolin, president of Shanghai Jianping West Middle School, said in addition to sharing the curriculum design and teaching experiences, the school will also showcase a math class to the UK delegation.

"Our math classes have long been outstanding and, with our own characteristics, many students here have performed well in math. I think that's why the British delegation chose us," said Wu, a math teacher.

Shanghai High School will introduce its advantages in international education and how to stimulate students' interests in learning math. Over the past two decades, the high school has cultivated many students with strong math ability. It is the world's only school that won six gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad, the pinnacle of mathematics competition among high school students.

The delegation will leave Shanghai for Wuhan, Hubei province, on Wednesday, and meet with officials from China's Ministry of Education in Beijing on Thursday.