PSLE Singapore Math for 12 year-old kids

The “Singapore Math” , an invention by Singapore Prof. Lee Peng Yee 李秉彝 of ex-Nantah (now NTU-NIE) in the 1980s, is a combination of :

  1. The ancient Chinese Arithmetics (算数) Technique,
  2. Polya Problem Solving Methodology,
  3. Aided by Visual Modeling Diagram.

All Singapore kids learn this Singapore Math from 7 to 12 (‘PSLE’ Primary School Leaving Exams before secondary school). Singapore scores Top #1 in World’s Pisa Math Test (for all 13-year-old kids), beating China, Finland, Korea, Japan, Taiwan… and all Europe and USA.

Note: However, there are pros & cons of this Singapore Math, revealing its weaknesses in post-secondary / university Math education with too applied less theoretical foundation.

France has adopted Singapore Math since 2018 in the French primary schools, as recommended by the President Macron’s Education Reform Team headed by the Fields Medalist Cedric Villani, who praised the Singapore Math as ‘Une Méthode Miracle‘ . France is very strong in abstract Modern Math – the 19th century invention by the French prodigy 天才神童 Évariste Galois (Group Theory) . France wins 1/3 of the world’s “Math Nobel Prize equivalent ” Fields Medals , second only behind the USA, but is strangely weak in applied math (eg. Arithmetics, Euclidean Geometry, IMO Math Olympiad…).

[No Algebra please!]

Answer : Try before scrolling down

…Method 1:

…Method 2:

Algebra vs Singapore Math

Who wins?

This comic video illustrates Singapore Math’s Arithmetics Polya-style problem solving process vs Algebra’s mechanical method.

The problem is as follow:
R is 3 times older than S two years ago. From now 2 years later, their total age is 32. How old is R now ?

See my previous blog (search “Monkey”) the Nobel Physicist Paul Dirac’s problem “The Monkeys and Coconuts“, 3 methods are used: 2 adanced modern math (by Sequence, eigenvector & eigenvalue), and the easiest & intuitive method (by Singapore Modelling Math). High-school Algebra method is impossible, if not cumbersome, to solve the Monkey problem !