Action Research comparing traditional math programs with Singapore’s program and use of SMART board technology.
Review of Literature
Why are there so many middle school math programs out there? What are the components that are needed in a great middle school math program? Is there a middle school math program out there that would be considered the best? How could one evaluate a program to determine that it is the best? These questions need to be answered and it is the goal of this research to find those answers. One of the main middle school math programs that will be researched is the Singapore Math Program.
The Singapore Math program approaches math in a different way than most traditional programs. The students end up covering fewer topics but in greater depth, thus helping students gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning. By avoiding duplication, the program combines a high level of mathematical content and a strong emphasis on building number sense and higher-level thinking skills. The textbooks used in Singapore present concepts using multiple learning styles with pictures, numbers and words. Each topic begins with the concrete, to help students get a grasp of the concept, then the pictorial, to help the students visualize the problem, and finally the abstract, making sure that students understand what they are learning before moving to something they may not be able to visualize. Problem solving is the key component to this program and is taught through model drawing which will be one of the foci of this research, to show that it is a better way to teach problem solving to students (Hogan, 2004).
Singapore’s textbook (being used throughout the entire country) works on building a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. American textbooks (large variety of styles, types, and topics covered) usually do not go deeper than definitions and formulas, only developing student’s ability to apply mathematical concepts...