Yeap Ban Har explains the first step he would take in training teachers from the United States how to be more effective math educators. He would attempt to get them to move away from teaching math as a series of procedures and instead focus on the importance of developing understanding in students.
If you use strengths to help people learn, then it becomes something so easy… When you use human weaknesses to learn anything, let alone mathematics, you won’t achieve very much success.
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.