UK to introduce students to Shanghai Maths Project

World Today

UK to introduce students to Shanghai Maths System

British students may soon be using Chinese math textbooks and methods. An agreement between U.K.’s Harper Collins publishers and Shanghai’s Century Publishing aims to switch learning to the Shanghai Math system.

The goal is to push U.K. schools higher in world rankings.

CGTN’S Richard Bestic reports from London.

UK to introduce students to Shanghai Maths System

British students may soon be using Chinese math textbooks and methods. An agreement between U.K.'s Harper Collins publishers and Shanghai's Century Publishing aims to switch learning to the Shanghai Math system. CGTN'S Richard Bestic reports from London.

The U.K. government has launched a $50 million investment in Chinese math across Britain. That’s been followed by international publishers Harper Collins producing a number of textbooks using the Shanghai Maths System to sell into U.K. schools.

Interest in the Shanghai system was triggered in the U.K. by a global study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In math, Chinese schools from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Jiangsu Province ranked fifth. The UK lagged behind at 27th.

Shanghai Maths is a rigorous system in which children are taught together under strict group discipline. Every child must understand a lesson before the class moves on.

A deep understanding of the fundamentals of maths is the goal. The best and the brightest help those who struggle.

Critics have said it’s not just textbooks that make a difference. A child’s school day in China is long compared to the U.K., with far more homework and weekend tutorials.

The teachers are specialists, studying primary math at university for five years and then teaching only math. British primary school-teachers teach all subjects, all the time. 

The Chinese textbooks will help deliver the U.K. education department’s ambitions for half of all primary schools in England, more than 8,000 in total,  to adopt the Asian mastery approach to math.