New Syllabus Mathematics (NSM) is de methode die Philip (13) gebruikt voor wiskunde. Net zoals er in Nederland verschillende lesmethodes zijn, waaronder Getal en Ruimte, Wageningse methode en Pascal (mooie naam, jammer van die missende e), kent Singapore uiteraard ook verschillende uitgeverijen en methoden. Op de pagina ‘Differences in Singapore Math High School Series’ staat meer over de verschillende methodes van Singapore Math voor het voortgezet onderwijs.

Wij hebben voor NSM gekozen omdat het voortzet wat ons bij My Pals Are Here! zo goed bevallen is, en omdat het de mogelijkheid tot uitbreiding biedt als een van de kinderen dat graag zou willen. Daarbij duurt NSM vier jaar, zodat na afronding van Singapore Math nog twee jaar overblijft om aan te sluiten op een Nederlands staatsexamen. Dat geeft ruimschoots de tijd om eventuele verschillen te beslechten.

Dit is de meest uitgebreide en objectieve beschrijving van New Syllabus Mathematics die ik kon vinden, van een Amerikaanse boekhandelaar:

‘There are two paths for secondary math students in Singapore: “Normal Stream” students take five years of coursework at a normal pace, whereas “Express Stream” students cram everything into four years. New Syllabus Mathematics is an “Express Stream” course. From grades 7-10, students are given fairly comprehensive doses of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and probability/statistics (formal proofs fgeometry are not given).

The New Syllabus Mathematics series is still in use in Singapore; in fact, it is the best-selling secondary math course in Singapore. The 7-8 grade texts are more colorful and engaging than some of the other options, though still strong on content.

How Do These Work?

For each level there is a student textbook and a workbook. Answers to all problem set questions are in the back of the student text; there are no solutions. The workbooks are largely supplementary, though highly recommended for this course. They include chapter review and “Alternative Assessments” (which include things like practical application problems and journal writing); answers are included in the back, except for the “Alternative Assessments”.

Each chapter begins with a written explanation of new concepts. Concrete, solved examples appear throughout the rest of the chapter. Like the other Singapore math courses, this one does not use the incremental approach, instead teaching and reviewing concepts thoroughly before moving on to another. The emphasis is practical application, and exercises are designed to support the goal of teaching students to use their acquired skills in useful ways; those requiring more thought or more calculations are marked by an asterisk (*).

Year one covers pre-algebra, basic algebra and geometry, and statistics. Year two covers intermediate algebra and geometry, statistics and sets, and an introduction to probability. Year three deals with advanced algebra and geometry, trigonometry, and matrices. Year four is about half review, with the other half covering matrices and statistics/probability.

Whether this is primarily a student-led or teacher-directed course is really up to you. There is enough here for a student to progress on his own, though of course he will benefit from any support and teaching you can offer. In the absence of a teacher manual, however, teacher involvement will necessarily be fairly intensive, as you will have to do the work yourself without guidelines other than the student text. Advanced and average students shouldn’t need much if any help as long as they thoroughly read the student text before trying to solve the problems. For students who struggle with math you should probably find a different course—this is faster-paced and more difficult than a lot of other math programs, partly because they put five to six years of study into four.

Sample Pages from the first textbook:

Table of Contents

Chapter 3: Problem Solving Involving Rational Numbers

Chapter 7: Writing Algebraic Expressions

Chapter 10: Ratio, Rate and Speed


Our Honest Opinion:

This is overall an excellent course, especially for students planning to pursue math-based careers in fields like engineering or science. The practical application orientation makes difficult topics clearer (and for some students, more interesting) because of the correlation of concrete and abstract principles, a method Singapore math texts are well-known for. This program remains popular in Singapore, a recommendation that shouldn’t be lightly brushed aside as Singapore students consistently score highest internationally in math and science. If you want a program with lots of thorough teacher support, however, you should look elsewhere.’


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