Thursday, December 30, 2010

Singapore Math Administrators Symposium, Chicago IL USA, 27-29 January 2011

This is for curriculum directors from all over the US.

The content is similar to the one in Nashville.

Singapore Math Administrators Symposium, Nashville TN USA, 24 - 25 January 2011

This symposium is for curriculum directors and other administrators in the state of Tennessee.

I gave a series of presentations on behalf of Marshall Cavendish Institute, to give the curriculum directors a sense of what is involved in effective professional development of mathematics teachers and also to update them on the recent initiatives in Singapore education with a particular focus on mathematics instruction. The sessions were titled Experiencing Singapore Math.

A similar symposium was held in Chicago a couple of days later.

20th National Conference on Science and Mathematics in Schools 11-13 January 2011 Rajabhat Chiangrai University

I will be speaking on a plenary session titled Sustainable Development of in-School Science and Mathematics experiences from Neighbouring Countries. There will be speakers from Singapore, Japan, Korea and Thailand.

หัวข้อเสวนา งานประชุมวิชาการวิทยาศาสตร์และคณิตศาสตร์ในโรงเรียน ครั้งที่20 (วทร.20)
ณ มหาวิทยาลัยราชภัฏเชียงราย

หัวข้อ (ภาษาไทย) “พัฒนาวิทยาศาสตร์ คณิตศาสตร์ใน
โรงเรียนอย่างยั่งยืน ประสบการณ์จากประเทศเพื่อนบ้าน”

(ภาษาอังกฤษ) “Sustainable Development of Science and
Mathematics in School: Experiences from Nearby

ผู้ร่วมเสวนา: จากประเทศ Thailand Singapore Japan Korea
ผู้ดำเนินรายการ: น.ส.สติยา ลังกาพินทุ์

Friday, October 29, 2010

APEC-Chiangmai Lesson Study International Symposium IV, Chiangmai Thailand, 2-6 November 2010

APEC-Chiang Mai International Conference IV:
Innovation of Mathematics Teaching and Learning through Lesson Study
Connection between Assessment and Subject Matter

Day 1
I will be on the post-lesson disucssion for a Grade 1 Maths research lesson with Lim Chap Sam (Malaysia), Cheng Chun Chor Litwin (Hong Kong, China), Marsigit (Indonesia), Young-suk Lee (South Korea) and Shizumi Shimizu (Japan)

Day 3
I am doing a specialist presentation . Soledad A. Ulep (The Philippines) is in the same session. I am also doing the commentary with Litwin Cheng (Hong Kong, China) at the specialsit presentations by Tran Vui (Vietnam) and Marsigit (Indonesia).

Day 4
I am on the Panel Discussion on he topic: How to assess students’ mathematical learning in problem solving classroom with David Tall (UK), Wang Shangzhi (China), Hee Chan Lew (South Korea), and Masami Isoda (Japan) moderated by Max Stephens (Autralia)

Monday, October 18, 2010

North Utah Curriculum Consortium Annual Adminsitrative Conference, 28 October 2010

October 27th (6:00-7:00 p.m.)
Yeap Ban Har will be speaking to a group called 'The High School Renewal Committee'. It is a group of parents, business leaders, administrators, teachers, school board members and university representatives. The primary purpose of the group is to design a world-class mathematics system for the Cache County School District. Dr Craig Asthon, Diretcor of Curriculum for Cache County School District is the chair the group.

Ban Har will share his thoughts about the organization of the Singapore curriculum and why it has been so successful.

October 28th (9:00-10:30 a.m.)
Yeap Ban Har is the keynote speaker to approximately 300 administrators in the Eccles Conference Center Auditorium on the campus of Utah State University. The title of the lecture is 'Common Core Standards in Mathematics...A View From Asia'.

October 28th (1:15-2:30 p.m.)
YEap Ban Har will be speaking to approximately 100 Math Specialists from eleven school districts. The topic is Effective Problem Solving Strategies for Students that Struggle.

October 28th (2:45-3:30 p.m.)
This will be an informal meeting with teachers and math coaches from the Cache County School District. It will be a question and answer session.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NCTM 2010 Regional Conferences & Expositions, Denver, Colorado 7-8 October 2010

One of the participants wrote to me about her learning experience at the session on Problem Solving in the Singapore Classrooms.

"I had the privilege of attending one of your sessions at the NCTM in San Diego last spring. I think we were into our third modeling problem when time elapsed. I had to stay to finish, because I actually "felt myself learn" in my brain, as I applied what we had discovered in the first problem to the third one... It was an 'epiphany', but a 'math epiphany', and one of the neatest things I've experienced. I have, and will continue to share with others this experience, and perhaps learn how to help others experience the same..."

Cathy, a fourth grade US teacher

2011 Mathematics Teachers Conference, Singapore, 2 June 2011

Using Anchor Tasks to Develop Students' Ability in Communication, Reasoning and Connections in Primary Mathematics

In many Japanese mathematics lessons that I have observed, teachers use one task to organise a lesson. In this session, it will be demonstrated how an anchor task can be used to build a culture where communication, reasoning and connections is the norm. The teacher's role in such classrooms will be evident through demonstrations. The demosntrations include lessons meant to teach a new concept as well as lessons for drill-and-practice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seminario: Avancemos En Las Matematicas: La Mirada de Singapur, Conception & Santiago, Chile 28 and 30 September 2010

Held at Hotel Terrano in Conception and Hotel Manquehue in Santiago, this seminar is to introduce the Singapore Textbook Project by Chilean Ministry of Education. In this project, schools are sampled and it will involve 100 teachers and 40000 students in all parts of Chile. The project involve the school opting for Pensar sin Limites textbook instead of the regular MOE textbook. For 2011, Primary 1 and Primary 2 are involved. In the following year, Primary 3 will be added. Eventually Primary 4 students will be involved in 2013. I spoke on the focus, the learning principles and the factors that contribute to pupil learning. I also shared data to indicate the efficacy of the programme.

Spanish Version

In English

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Global Forum on Singapore Mathematics 2010, Singapore

Marshall Cevendish Education and Marshall Cavendish Institute hosted the first ever Global Forum on Singapore Mathematics in Singapore. 18 countries were represented. I presented three papers at the forum.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

EARCOME 5, Tokyo, Japan 19-22 August 2010

EARCOME-5 Fifth East Asian Conference on Mathematics Education. The second conference was held in Singapore in 2002 where SEACME9 (Southeast Asian Conference on Mathematics Education) merged with the East Asian edition to give rise to this series of conference. Subsequently, EARCOME-3 was held in Shanghai and EARCOME-4 in Penang. EARCOME-5 in Japan included a lesson study component.

It seems like there is a plan to alternate the hosting opportunity between a North Asian city and a Southeast Asian city. But because there are fewer North Asian countries, this plan may not be followed strictly. At EARCOME-5, itwas decided that the conference will from now on run on a 3-3-2 years cycles. That way EARCOME and ICME will not happen on the same year.

The next two conferences are in 2013 (Thailand) and in 2015 (The Philippines). Sunsequent editions will be in 2018, 2021, 2023, 2026, 2029 and so on.

I participated in this conference and was part of the Plenary Panel on Excellence in Classroom Practice on 22 August 2010. The panelists includes Dr. Catherine Vistro-Yu (The Philippines), Dr. Kyungmee Park (South Korea), Dr. Ngai Ying Wong (Hong Kong), Dr. Yeap Ban Har (Singapore) and Dr. Masataka Koyama (Japan)

In my presentation, I use (mathematics) education policies, both explicit as well as implicit ones, to construct what is meant by excellence in classroom practice and illustrated my points with examples from Singapore.

The existence of such policies, with the necessary professional development support, coupled with an assessment that demands thinking, forms a coherent system that facilitates teachers bringing such excellence to more classrooms.

Although this is not universal, I am glad to point out that in Singapore, policies actually bring about change in the classroom.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mahasarakham Rajabhat University, Mahasarakham, Thailand 12-13 August 2010

On 12-13 August, a workshop series is conducted on the use of learning theories in designing mathematics lessons.

This is art of my role as a visiting professor. I will also teach a Ph.D. course later this year and in 2011.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Benchmarking Education Systems for Results East Asia Regional Conference, Singapore 21-23 June 2010


Benchmarking Education Systems for Results East Asia Regional Conference is a World Bank event.

I will be presenting in this segment: Effective Learning Assessment Systems - Using Assessments for Policy Dialogue

The Session Chair is Jee-Peng Tan, World Bank. Jordan is represented by Khattab Abulibdeh of National Center for Human Resources Development, Jordan while Singapore is represented by Yeap Ban Har of National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The Indicator Discussion is led by Marguerite Clarke.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2011 ASCD Annual Conference Proposal

With only half of the teachers in primary schools having undergraduate degrees and a negligible number with a mathematics degree, bold actions are necessary to ensure tha a high-quality instruction is available to the majority of the students. This session shows how a coherent, dynamic framework is essential to achieve the desired educational goals.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Conferences 2011

epiSTEME - 4: Fourth international conference to review research on Science, TEchnology and Mathematics Education
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), Mumbai, India, January 5-9, 2011

CERME 2011 - Conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics
Rzeszow, Poland, February 9-13, 2011

XIII CIAEM — Inter-American Conference on Mathematics Education
Recife, Brasil, June 26-30, 2011.

ICTMT10 - 10th International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching
University of Portsmouth, July 5-8, 2011

Ankara, Turkey, July 10-15, 2011

Prague, Czech Republic, August 21-26, 2011

ICMI Study 21 Conference
São Paulo, Brazil, September 16-20, 2011

ICME-12 - Twelfth International Congress on Mathematical Education
Seoul, Korea, July 8-15, 2012

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition, San Diego USA, 21-24 April 2010

NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition

Mathematics Problems from Primary Schools in Singapore (by
I used problems from the Primary Mathematics (Standards Edition) in this sessions to discuss the different roles of problems.

Making Connections: Problems from Singapore Classrooms
I used problems from textbooks, national examination (PSLE) and teacher-created problems as well as problems from lesson study to show the kind of problems typical in the Singapore classrooms.

Does Singapore Mathematics Enhance Student Learning in the United States?
I did the introduction to this panel presentation by describing selected aspects of mathematics teaching and learning in Singapore.

Special Event
What's The Theory Behind Singapore Math?
This session for teachers in California helped teachers understand the theoretical undepinning of Singapore Math - plus they get to see a video of problem solving in a Grade 1 class and solve some PSLE problems themselves.

The presentations are available at and

Monday, February 15, 2010

National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies, Las Vegas, USA 12 - 15 July 2010

National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies is the third one held on an annual basis. Always in the exciting Las Vegas. It is my second time teaching at this institute. This year a colleague who used to teach at the NIE, Dr Douglas Edge, presented at the conference too.

I have developed several new presentations and use new examples and activites for those taught last year. Hopefully, those who insist on attending the same sessions that they did last year will not be bored with the same tasks. Actually, there is a rich array of sessions to attend at any time slot, given that the number of presenters have increased.

I am happy to note that two collegues from Scarsdale School District, where I have visited on several occasions, presented at the conference as well.

My sessions at the conference were:
A4 Teaching Kindergarten and First Grade Math
A10 Questioning Questions - Techniques to Improve Attitude Towards Mathematics
B2 Challenging Word Problems Without Using The Model Method
C6 Math Teaching Around The World
C11 Designing Lessons Around Anchor Problems
D2 and G1 Piece of Cake : Teaching Fractions
E4 How Can I Help My Students See It? Developing Visualization
E11 Mathematics Problems From Singapore Schools
F1 Creative Thinking for Students Who Struggle
H3 Closing Session : Open Lesson for Grade 5 (Multiplication of Fractions)

The last one is an actual lessons for students in a Las Vegas school - James E & A Rae Smalley Elementary School.

All the presentations are available at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NCSM Annual Conference, San Diego, USA 19-21 April 2010

NCSM 42nd Annual Conference
Session 326 Strand 3 Venue: Windsor BC

Integrating Curriculum, Assessment and Teacher Professional Development : Singapore and the United States

Panel of Speakers
Jeremy Roschelle (Stanford Research Institute International)
Charles Patton (Stanford Research Institute International)
Yeap Ban Har (National Institute of Education)
Wong Khoon Yoong (National Institute of Education)

My paper is titled Teacher Professional Development in Singapore Schools where I draw upon the two funded research projects I am co-investigators in as well as my work in lesson study and coducting PDs in Singapore schools for primary school teachers.

The presentation is available at and

I attended the keynote The Opportunity: From Brutal Facts to the Best Schools We've Ever Had where he addressed the need for authentic team-based PLCs, guranteed and viable curriculum, leadership in PLC, and writing in mathematics.

I am trying to attend more sessions on professional learning of teachers.

I attended a session led by Skip Fennell on elementary mathematics specialists. There are many sessions on professional learning and some on lesson study. I attended The Math Forum session on on-line learning for teachers ( and a sharing on lesson study at a school in Las Vegas - Robert Lund Elementary School in Clark County School District.

I also attended two sessions on U.S. teachers learning to use Singapore textbooks. Patsy Kanter and Andy Clark gave these sessions.

On the second day, I attended a lesson study sharing by Houston Independent School District on Algebra I.

I also went to listen to Barbara Reys spoke about the ten pressing challenges in mathematics education where several of the challenges are link to teacher professional development such as teachers' content knowledge, teachers' understanding of how students think and effective strategies to teach specific concepts, induction of new teachers, and weak influence of theory on practice.

I managed to attend a session on lesson study by Jane Gorman on differences in teacher learning for novice and experienced teachers as well as the role of facilitators on teacher learning before i had to spend the rest of the day presneting my session and doing a PD session for California teachers.

Harvard University, Boston, USA 15 April 2010

The Singapore Mathematics Curriculum: What Makes It So Good? is an seminar organised by Katherine K. Merseth and Jon R. Star from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I discuss the three key theoretical underpinnings of the intended curriculum - Bruner, Dienes and Skemp. I discuss the enactive, iconic and symbolic representation of Jerome Bruner, the concept of multiple embodiment and the principle of perceptual and mathe,atical variability of Zoltan Dienes, and the notion of relational and instrumental understanding of Richard Skemp.

It was generally well-received by a crowd of about 40 graduate students who are interested in mathematics education as well as a few faculty members from both the education and mathematiucs departments.

The presentation slides are available at

Boston College, Boston, USA 14 April 2010

Mathematics Education Seminar
Venue: McGuinn Hall 521, Boston College

The lecture focuses on selected aspects of mathematics education in Singapore that have significant impact on high achievement of its students. It provides selected insights on the role of curriculum development, structures in the education system that support curriculum implementation, textbooks, teacher training, assessment and testing, and societal expectations on student outcomes.

A group of people from the schools districts, department of education as well as faculty members of Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University were at the seminar.

ASCD Annual Conference, San Antonio, USA 6-8 March 2010

At ASCD Conference & Exhibit Show, one can attend sessions on differentiated instruction (Tomlinson) and understanding by design(Wiggin & McTighe), two ideas that have caught on in Singapore schools. The ASCD bookstore carries a range of high quality books on professional learning and topics such as DI and UbD.

At the ASCD Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, I presented a session on big ideas in elementary mathematics with a prtofessional development slant (Session 2130 on Sunday morning). The session was packed with all the 120 seats taken. I am glad it was well received.

I also presented for SingaporeMath.Com. This session is to provide US educators a glimpse into Singapore primary classrooms (on Sunday lunchtime).

Session 2130
Transforming Mathematics for the 21st Century: What Teachers Need to Know
Description: What is the role of mathematics in educating children? What are the key competencies in elementary mathematics? This presentation will help teachers and curriculum leaders understand the essential big ideas that children should develop in mathematics and the role teachers play in the formation of these big ideas. Participants will learn how to help teachers understand their role in this process.

Session 222EW
A Glimpse into Mathematics Teaching and Learning in Singapore Elementary Schools

Go to

Next year's conference is at San Francisco, 26 - 28 March 2011. Deadline for session proposal is 1 May 2010.

APEC Lesson Study, Tokyo, Japan 18-21 February 2010

The top photo shows the APEC lesson study specialists who meet twice a year under this project. In 2010, they meet in Tokyo (February) and Chiangmai (November). The lower photo shows Singapore teachers' visit to a junior high school after the conference.

The Fourth APEC-Tsukuba International Conference: Innovation of Mathematics Teaching and Learning through Lesson Study with the theme of Connection between Assessment and Subject Matter is an extension of the APEC HRD Lesson Study Project 03/2006, 02/2007, 02/2008 under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Science, Japan and the Ministry of Education, Thailand.

This conference is part of the Lesson Study for Implementing Curriculum: Developing Innovative Assessment Problem HRD 01/2010 which aims to improve mathematics and science teaching. Tsukuba University Japan and Khon Kaen University Thailand are the conveners of this project.

I am at the conference on the invitation of Tsukuba University as one of what the project called country specialists. Four Singapore teams are at the conference to see firsthand lesson study in Japan. The teams are Da Qiao Primary, North Vista Primary, Woodlands Ring Primary and TDD, Ministry of Education. They will be facilitating lesson study among their colleagues. 2010 will see more Singapore schools embarking on lesson study.

I also hear that Director General of Education (DGE) will mention lesson study in the context of PLC during the PILLARS conference in March.

Lesson Study, originated in Japan in the last quarter of 19th century, is now a well-known approach used for curriculum development and implementation, developing innovative teaching approaches as well as facilitating teachers’ professional development.

This conference is a platform for the specialists in the respective countries to plan a lesson study programme for their country. In November 2010, a conference will be held in Chiangmai, Thailand where the results of the programme will be reported.

18 February, 2010: Lesson Study at Attached Elementary School, University of Tsukuba
Morning Session: Research lesson in science with English translation. About 5000 Japanese teachers took part in the many open lessons that took place over two days.
Afternoon Session: Specialists’ session for the project HRD 01/2010s with relation to Assessments
For Singapore participants, the research lesson is a highlight. It is also a good networking session to meet people from Japanese schools. The afternoon session is for specialists. Singapore participants can decide if they want to attend this session with me.

19 February, 2010: Lesson Study at Attached Elementary School, University of Tsukuba
Morning Session
Two research lessons in mathematics class with English translation
Afternoon Session
Specialists’ session for the project HRD 01/2010s with relation to Materials
For Singapore participants, the research lesson is a highlight. It is also a good networking session to meet people from Japanese schools. The afternoon session is for specialists. Singapore participants can decide if the want to attend the session.

20 February, 2010: Plenary Conference focusing on Assessment
Venue: United Nations University, Tokyo
Morning Session: Keynote Session
Opening Ceremony
Mathematical Literacy on the OECD-PISA
Improvement of Teaching by improving National Assessment in the case of Japan
Professional Development through Lesson Study in the case of Thailand
Afternoon Session: APEC Economies’ Session
Short lectures: Challenges of the Improvement of Teaching from Improvement of Assessment Test
Panel Discussion

21 February, 2010: Plenary Conference focusing on Materials for Lesson Study
Venue: United Nations University, Tokyo
Morning Session: Keynote Session
Development of Mathematics Textbooks and Tools in 20th century
Problem Solving Approach Emended in Japanese Textbooks
Plan for Professional Development using Japanese Textbooks in the cases of Mexico and Thailand
Afternoon Session: APEC Economies’ Session
Short lectures: Developing Teacher Training Textbooks for Lesson Study
Panel Discussion

For Singapore participants, this two-day conference will provide food-for-thought for the lesson study journey that your schools will embark on.

The Singapore team also visited a junior high school the day after the conference.

Websites for the Conference

Erikson Institute, Chicago, USA, May 2008

Go to for a presentation on big ideas in early mathematics as well as interviews on some issues connected with mathematics education.

Videos of the lecture is available