The causal effect of East Asian ‘mastery’ teaching methods on English children’s mathematics skillsISER External Seminars

A small group of high-performing East Asian economies dominate the top of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Although there are many possible explanations for this, East Asian teaching methods and curriculum design are two factors to have particularly caught policymakers’ attention. Yet there is currently little evidence as to whether any particular East Asian teaching method actually represents an improvement over the status quo in England, and whether such methods can be successfully introduced into Western education systems. This paper provides new evidence on this issue by presenting results from two clustered Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT’s), where a Singaporean inspired ‘mastery’ approach to teaching mathematics was introduced into a selection of England’s primary and secondary schools. We find evidence of a modest but positive treatment effect. Moreover, even under conservative assumptions, the programme has the potential to offer substantial economic returns.

Presented by:

John Jerrim (Institute of Education)

Date & time:

27 Apr 2015 14:00 pm - 27 Apr 2015 15:30 pm

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