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Secondary maths teaching in Shanghai: two teachers reflect

Created on 08 January 2019 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 25 January 2019 by ncetm_administrator

Secondary maths teaching in Shanghai: two teachers reflect

How does maths teaching in a secondary school in Shanghai look and feel to experienced observing teachers from secondary schools in England? Two Mastery Specialist teachers from North West England, who were among a group of teachers from Maths Hubs who visited Shanghai during school year 2018/19, give their impressions.

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Jayne Watts, teacher at Alsager School and Secondary Teaching for Mastery Lead for North Mids and Peaks Maths Hub
  • Dave Connell, 2nd in Maths at Loreto Grammar School, Altrincham, and Secondary Teaching for Mastery Lead for North West Two Maths Hub
  • Gwen Tresidder, NCETM Communications Manager

Episode chapters

  • 03:46 – Most striking things in the classroom
  • 06:59 – Most striking things about the children
  • 09:24 – Applying mastery in the English cultural context
  • 11:05 – How Chinese students get ahead of their English peers
  • 12:41 – Culture of collaborative working 
  • 16:01 – Lessons from teaching Chinese students
  • 18:01 – Changing practice as a result of visit
  • 22:20 – What about pupils that say ‘I can already do that’?



Go to the NCETM Maths Podcast homepage


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14 January 2019 14:46
Dear faz18,

The children get homework everyday, this seemed to be a single sheet or exercise from the book (centralised every child in every school in Shanghai uses the same). Teachers have time to mark this during the school day and do so, my understanding is that they then call the student's back on the same day to intervene where necessary. The timetable is set up in such a way that there is time for this to happen. It is a far more rigourous system than we have here, in part due to the longer school day, but with same amount of lesson time and the considerably lighter load on teacher's that we have here. Unfortunately this is one area we will struggle to emulate here! Where as we can do quite a lot on lessons / teaching! Thank goodness
By payneeecat
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11 January 2019 14:52
Hi Gwen, First of all I would like to thank You, Jayne and Dave for sharing a wonderful experience of maths teaching in Shanghai. I am so grateful to be a part of the NCETM . Regarding this experience I would like to ask few questions in relation to this speedy progress that children in Shanghai have achieved. How much homework do these children gen on daily bases and how do they manage it? How do the teachers manage to mark children’s work and check their progress? Also, in terms of progress, what is the parental involvement and contribution towards their children’s progress?
By faz18
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