The Math Question That Went Viral
So what makes Singapore so good at a subject with which America’s students have routinely struggled? Singapore’s math instruction focuses heavily on mastery over rote memorization. Math students on the small island nation perform well because they understand the material deeply—not because they are studying for a specific test. Thus, they react well when “curveballs” are thrown at them in the form of confusing math questions.
And even though the “Cheryl’s Birthday” question may be atypical of the average Singaporean classroom, perhaps it’s still worth asking: Are you smarter than a (Singaporean) 10th-grader?
The Atlantic

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