French & German’s Secondary School Maths Comparison

A French math teacher’s insight in math classes in Germany (15 years old = Secondary 3) and France (16/17 years old in Sec 4 & Pre-U / JC 1):

The French Math is more theoretical while the German Math (like English Math) is applied. So the result is Germany produces excellent precision engineers with Applied Math, while France produces 1/3 of the World’s Fields Medalists in theoretical Pure Math.

Many English GCE A-level top Math students from Singapore studying in French Universities face the same dilemma: while their French Math professors think they are “weak” in Math (i.e. French abstract Pure Math), yet they beat the French classmates in Applied Math.

The ideal Math Education is to have the best of both worlds: the Applied Math used in science & engineering, and the theoretical Pure Math in its powerful generalisation capability for higher research & development.

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