What is Singapore Mathematics Approach?

# What is Singapore Mathematics Approach?

## What is Singapore Mathematics Approach?

Singapore mathematics approach is a teaching method that lays a greater focus on in-depth understanding and mastery of mathematical concepts rather than breadth in content and memorization. It is completely based on Jerome Bruner’s Concrete–Pictorial–Abstract (CPA) technique.

## Why Singapore Mathematics Approach is Useful?

Singapore mathematics approach is a teaching approach which is based on the international curriculum of mathematics used for kindergarten through sixth grade in Singapore. Singapore consistently tops the international benchmarking assessment studies on school mathematics. Singapore mathematics approach is the most useful in mastery of mathematics due to the following reasons:
·        It introduces new concepts using Jerome Bruner’s Concrete–Pictorial–Abstract (CPA) technique builds upon prior knowledge and skills and enhances mastery.
·        It encourages children to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand.
·        It teaches problem-solving strategies, challenging children to solve difficult multi-step word problems.
·        It boosts students’ mathematical fluency without the need for rote learning.

## What is Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) Technique?

Some of the students can find mathematics difficult because it is abstract. The CPA technique builds on children’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. It involves progressive learning from concrete materials to pictorial representations, and further to abstract symbols and problems.
Concrete–Pictorial–Abstract (CPA) technique is a 3-step learning process in which mathematical concepts are presented in a logical sequence.
1. Concrete: Hands-on Representation
Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage. The CPA technique brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical (concrete) objects. In the concrete phase, students interact with physical objects to model problems.
This phase relates to real-life experiences, familiar experiences and hands-on activities.

2. Pictorial: Iconic Representation

Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical objects they have just handled and the pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects in the problems.  For example, real oranges (or counters standing in for oranges) are now represented as drawings of oranges or any other objects like star etc.

3. Abstract: Symbolic

Abstract is the ‘application’ stage. This stage encourages children to apply their understanding of concepts to solve mathematical problems using numbers and math symbols (+, −, ×, ÷).