Monday, 30 May 2016
In an exclusive interview with The Straits Times, it was reported that NIE is conducting a multi-disciplinary research with three secondary schools in Singapore.
Titled as “MAGICAL” which stands for “Mathematics is Great: I Can And Like”, it explores an alternative approach to teaching math. The initiative was started in 2014 and is led by Associate Professor Toh Tin Lam from the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Academic Group (MME). Together with his co-principal investigators, Dr Cheng Lu Pien, a maths lecturer at MME; Associate Professor Lim Kam Ming from Office of Teacher Education and Psychological Studies Academic Group; and Assistant Professor Jiang Heng, from Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group, they had devised learning math concepts through comics.
The project, which cost about $90,000, is funded by NIE. It took about a year to design the package, which includes different storylines and practice questions. The team worked with external illustrators to draw the comic strips. The package comes with an online platform for students to have more practice. So far, two topics - percentages and statistics – have been done.
The three schools in the pilot study – Dunman Secondary School, St Hilda’s Secondary School and Anderson Secondary School – have spent a few weeks teaching percentages with the new method since January. Their Normal (Technical) students will start learning statistics in the third term, in July.
The teachers from the three schools will share their experiences at the Mathematics Teachers Conference at NIE on Thursday, 2 June 2016.
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