Sandra Bullock doesn't understand the 'S'pore math' her children are learning

Not everyone's favourite subject.

Fasiha Nazren | December 14, 2021, 10:32 AM

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In Singapore, math is just another subject you learn in school.

In other countries, however, Singapore math is a rather advanced teaching approach.

This, we learned from a snippet of "The Kelly Clarkson Show" with guest Sandra Bullock.

"New" math

In a YouTube video published on Dec. 9, Clarkson and Bullock discussed the struggle they face when helping their children with math homework.

Clarkson is the mother of a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, while Bullock's children are eight and 11.

The host brought up the topic of some "new math" when the "Miss Congeniality" actress said that her kids are learning something called "Singapore math".

"Well, that's the new math in our house that I don't understand... I don't even try," she said.

Same, Miss Congeniality, same.

Developed in 1982

Singapore math isn't entirely new.

According to Verywell Family, the Singapore math program uses a three-step learning model:

  1. Concrete (showing something using manipulatives)
  2. Pictorial (creating a visual representation on paper)
  3. Abstract (solving problems)

Folks from around here would remember some of the methods, like the bar model method.

Photo from basic-math-explained.

The teaching concept, of course, was apparently developed in Singapore by the Ministry of Education for primary school math as early as 1982.

In a 2014 report by Straits Times, schools in India, France, Chile, Thailand and Libya have also adopted the Singapore method of teaching math.

No surprise in the uptrend, since Singapore topped the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019, a series that assesses the mathematics and science knowledge of students around the world.

Top image screenshot from The Kelly Clarkson Show and

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