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Helping Children with Mathematical Difficulties Level Up: Evaluating the Efficacy of a Novel Updating Training Programme

  • Su Yin Ang
  • Kerry Lee
  • Kenneth K. PoonEmail author
  • Imelda Suryadarma
Chapter
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)

Abstract

Singapore is one of the most affluent countries in the world and is ranked by international-benchmarking examinations such as Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) as one of the top-performing education systems in the world (Mourshed M, Chijioke C, Barber M. How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company, London, 2010). In its educational success, notwithstanding, there is concern of the inequality within the education system. One source of concern was raised in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report where Singapore was found to have above-average income inequality. A strong (or positive) relationship also existed between academic performance and socio-economic status (OECD. PISA 2009 results: overcoming social background. OECD Publishing, Paris, 2010). Despite a very high participation rate in kindergarten, there is also suggestion that not every child enters primary education with the same level of academic skills. Learning Support for Mathematics programme has been established within all primary schools in Singapore so that children who are screened at Primary 1 without the adequate foundational skills in math would receive specialised support (Cheam F, Chua WLJ. Early intervention for pupils at-risk of mathematics difficulties. In: Wong KY, Lee PY, Kaur B, Foong PY, Ng SF (eds) Mathematics education: the Singapore journey. World Scientific, Singapore, pp 370–386, 2009). Kaur and Ghani’s (Low attainers in primary mathematics. World Scientific, Singapore, 2012) investigation of children with poor attainments in math reported that these students were not attentive in class and easily distracted. They did not give their best when doing work and often not able to complete their work on time in class. Perhaps related to these difficulties, these pupils also lacked home support with their work, with many coming from low-income families.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Su Yin Ang
    • 1
  • Kerry Lee
    • 2
  • Kenneth K. Poon
    • 3
    Email author
  • Imelda Suryadarma
    • 3
  1. 1.Ministry of Social and Family DevelopmentSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Centre for Brain and EducationThe Education University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  3. 3.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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