For Maths, Asian Education > English

For Maths, Asian Education > English
By David Westley
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.
LET'S GO

The English education community is presently suffering a moment of self doubt as two new studies suggest the country's best and brightest are still two years behind their Asian peers in Maths by the time they reach 16. For the UAE, which has elements of both systems, the studies should be of particular interest.

Asian and English students are said to be on a level until the age of 10, after which their "harder working", more focused peers begin to pull ahead.

The study, by researchers at the Institute of Education, University of London, looked at the children's maths achievement in two studies, the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (Timss).

In the rankings England has slipped down to 28th in maths for the Pisa 2009 tests.

Study author Dr John Jerrim said in the UK's Telegraph newspaper: "At age 10 the highest achievers in England can roughly match the highest achievers in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but by age 16, the highest achievers in England are roughly two years behind the highest achievers in those countries."

The research also found England's most able youngsters make less progress generally than those of similar abilities across the 12 other countries studied.

Countries studied were Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Slovenia, Norway, Scotland, the US, Italy, Lithuania and Russia.

"Cultural and social factors" may be behind the strong scores in east Asian countries the report argues. "In east Asian cultures education has historically been highly valued. This can be seen not only in teachers' high salaries, but also in the heavy investment of families in private tutoring services."

The latter will ring true in most communities in the UAE, where private tutoring, and after hours study is far more prominent, certainly in more Asian curriculum focused schools, but even within England and Wales curriculum based environments. That no doubt, in part explains why also English National Curriculum based private schools in the UAE achieve in general better results than an average UK state counterparts.

The report also rather pointedly notes: "Having a pool of very highly skilled individuals is vital for technological innovation and long-run economic growth."

Defenders of the English education system have noted however that while Asian education systems do better at learning by rote, the English system is designed to encourage skills and thinking. These attributes, they argue, cannot be measured by standardaised international tests.

 

Comments
Latest UAE articles
New Schools

World's First Blended Online, Physical School

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, King’s College online is being launched wi…

Society

Playful Learning: Covid's Impact on Early Years

Most parents will know by now that young child learn best in a play-based curriculum. A y…

Society

Finally! Dubai Nurseries Begin to Reopen

Nurseries in Dubai are once again busy with the sounds of happy children as they begin to…

School Performance

Students Get "Extra" 3-Weeks for A' Level, GCSEs

A-level and GCSE exams for 2021 are scheduled to go ahead next summer but with a three we…

Courses & Curricula

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award: What's In It for You?

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has it all; the blisters, putting up a tent i…

Courses & Curricula

IB Exams 2020-21: What You Need To Know

The Covid-19 pandemic continues, and it has been nearly a year of disruption to learning,…

Secondary Schools

Mock Exams to be 'Plan B' for A Levels, GCSEs

‘Rigorous’ mock A level and GCSE exams are to be held this winter as part of…

Society

Nurseries Reopening: The Long Wait Continues

Nurseries in Dubai have been closed since 1st March. With no formal financial relief pack…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All