Series: Hear from the Experts

Shrinking the Gap in Math and Reading Skills with Yeap Ban Har

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In Singapore, kindergarten is not mandatory. Yeap Ban Har explains how first- and second-grade teachers compensate for the inevitable gap in the math and reading skills of their students.

Yeap Ban Har taught at National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore for more than ten years. Presently, he holds two concurrent positions as the director of curriculum and professional development at Pathlight School, a K-10 school for autistic learners in Singapore, and the principal of Marshall Cavendish Institute, a global teacher professional development institute.

The Early Math Collaborative, supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, held international symposia in 2009 and 2010. The two events brought experts from around the world to share approaches to early mathematics education with teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and other education professionals. The goal was to generate globally-informed ideas and recommendations for improving math instruction in the early childhood classroom. In breakout discussions and plenary sessions, participants brainstormed ideas, identified issues, and recommended actions.