Introducing East Asian teaching methods into western schools: is it a good idea?

John Jerrim

About six months ago I released a paper ( discussing reason for East Asian success in PISA, focusing largely upon the role of home background and culture. I have been somewhat overwhelmed by the number of people who have shown an interest in this paper and have contacted me about this work since. Today I will present some evidence on the other side of the story – the ‘impact’ of East Asian teaching methods on children’s mathematics test scores.

Over the last two and a half years I have been evaluating the ARK ‘Maths Mastery’ programme along with Anna Vignoles from the University of Cambridge ( This introduced a Singaporean inspired ‘mastery’ teaching approach into a selection of England’s primary and secondary schools, with the impact evaluated via a Randomised Controlled Trial methodology. The Education Endowment Foundation reports can be found here ( and…

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