SHANGHAI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A delegation of 107 primary and secondary school mathematics teachers from the United Kingdom finished a two-week teaching exchange in Shanghai on Friday, representing the largest number of participants since the exchange program was launched in 2014.
As one of the important achievements of the U.K.-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, the mathematics teacher exchange is the largest teacher exchange program between China and developed countries. The program has seen a total of 830 participants in its activities hailing from both China and the United Kingdom.
The U.K. teachers participated in professional training, simulated mathematics classroom workshops held in Shanghai, and entered the mathematics classrooms of primary and secondary schools in nine districts of Shanghai in the past two weeks.
After attending a math class in Shanghai's Changning District, Debbie Morgan, director for primary mathematics at the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, said the way Chinese mathematics teachers guided students to understand the meaning of units of length was very instructive.
"The students understand more about decimeters first by estimating the length of a pen, and then being introduced to the concept of a decimeter relating back to a meter, and then looking at that in real-life examples. I think they carefully constructed lessons in the small steps," said Morgan.
According to her, the mathematics education in the U.K. has been changing as a result of what the Chinese are doing.
"We're doing that because we see excellent lessons and excellent learning here," said Morgan.
Nearly one-third of the U.K. math teachers are secondary school teachers this year. The proportion has increased from previous trips, which involved almost exclusively primary school teachers.
Huang Xingfeng, an associate professor from Shanghai Normal University, said under the program, many schools in the U.K. have established mathematics education centers. Meanwhile, Chinese educators are learning from U.K. teachers to place more emphasis on independent thinking and the problem-solving ability of children in teaching.
In October 2018, Harper Collins held a launching ceremony for the English version of the Shanghai math textbook series "Real Shanghai Mathematics," introducing the textbooks that have been used for nearly two decades in Shanghai schools to U.K. students.
At the end of February 2020, Shanghai will send 70 primary math teachers and 24 middle school math teachers to schools in England for a two-week mathematics teaching exchange.