Shanghai teachers arrive to share world-class approach to maths

Chinese teachers have arrived in England to share their maths teaching techniques with secondary schools, in a bid to raise standards in the subject.

The visiting Shanghai teachers are the third group to come to the the country as part of an exchange between the Department for Education (DfE) and the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

Schools minister Nick Gibb welcomed the arrival of the teachers, who will run maths lessons and share their techniques at English secondary schools:

Thank you to the 68 teachers from Shanghai who arrived last night and who’ll be teaching maths in 39 of our schools

— Nick Gibb (@NickGibbMP) November 2, 2015

The teacher-led exchange is part of the government’s maths hub programme – a national network of leading schools who are responsible for ensuring English students reach the same level as their Far East peers. Through the network, the Chinese teachers also lead masterclasses and training sessions with other local schools so more teachers can benefit directly from their expertise.

A similar exchange, involving primary school teachers, took place between England and Shanghai in November last year. Nearly 30 maths teachers spent a month in selected primary schools. According to the DfE, the first exchange encouraged teachers to change the way they approached lesson planning to develop a deep understanding and fluency in maths.

But over the next month, the focus of the third visit from the Chinese teachers will be on secondary maths teaching. St Marylebone CE School in Westminster, a comprehensive, told TES it will welcome two of the Chinese teachers for three weeks from tomorrow:

Looking forward to welcoming @NickGibbMP to @StMarylebone to talk about #Shanghai Maths and @TeachFirst career progression. @TeachFirstLDN

— MathsHub London C&NW (@MathsHubLdnCNW) November 2, 2015

At St Marylebone, one of the selected maths hubs, Shanghai teachers Ding Kai and Jin Cilai will work and teach alongside head of department Dan Chandrakumar and his second Suzanne Li-In-Oy, who both went on a research visit to Shanghai schools in September this year.

Mr Chandrakumar said: “Our visit gave us a remarkable insight and we are really motivated to adapt what works in Shanghai for the benefit of our students.”

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