Marshall Cavendish Education

Learning simplified for the classrooms of today—
Learning with Marshall Cavendish Education

Nov 2023

Learning simplified

Today, I am writing this article from home, my hideaway from a world of endless emails, text messages, social media posts, web notifications, and more. Peace and quiet has become a luxury in our world today for everyone, not least for teachers. I suppose then it is apt that Marshall Cavendish Education’s (MCE) promise is “Learning Simplified”.

We understand that teachers are juggling a multitude of teaching and administrative tasks under enormous time constraints every day. Hence, we hope that by reducing the complications of teaching and cutting to the chase, we can simplify their work while making learning for their charges effective.

Adopting effective approaches to simplify Maths learning

In “Learning Simplified”, one key philosophy our product development team holds to is that every learner can master the subject regardless of language proficiency. The language in our Mathematics textbooks and workbooks is deliberately kept simple. Short sentences and simple vocabulary are used. For example, instead of using “muffins”, we use “cake”, and instead of using a word, we show pictures. The learner should not be hindered by their English ability. After all, it is Maths we are learning here!

Another way we make learning simple yet rigorous is through the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach. This key characteristic of Singapore Maths enables learners to “see” and make sense of the Maths and abstract representations. At higher levels, the concrete materials are replaced by learning experiences that help learners construct understanding. This facilitates conceptual understanding rather than memorisation, all while keeping language simple.

We also carefully scaffold learning in our materials through varied examples, activities, and a series of tasks to ensure a thorough progression of learning. New concepts are introduced by building on the previous ones. More depth is added with each new concept, linking new concepts with the learning that has already taken place. At the same time, through mathematical variation, students experience the same mathematical concept through various applications or different representations. Through these varied strategies, deeper conceptual understanding results.

In my time in the education arena, I have come to realise that many students and teachers approach Maths with fear and trepidation. It is our aim that these approaches we adopt help students achieve success in Maths, even if it is through mini steps. In achieving these mini successes, we hope that it in turn leads to the learners developing positive attitudes towards the subject.

Equipping every learner with 21st century skills and competencies

There is much talk about the growing need to prepare learners for a globalised world. Well, which subject better to infuse the learning of these skills other than Maths, which is essentially a vehicle for developing problem-solving skills in real-world contexts?

We believe the same at MCE, where we introduce group and individual practices at suitable junctures in our Maths learning resources. This allows learners to apply and develop critical thinking skills, reasoning and communication skills, and metacognition while developing procedural fluency. We also incorporate non-routine higher-order questions for learners to explore the various plausible ways to solve these problems and communicate how they solve them. Such questions foster the development of creative thinking and communication skills.

Ensuring educators are supported with a holistic suite of resources to simplify learning

This is the backdrop against how our textbook packages are designed. Our team members spend hours deliberating over contexts, examples, and designs to make them relevant and engaging to learners. At the same time, we also leverage technology to increase emotional and cognitive engagement and foster deep understanding.

MCE also aims to simplify teaching by supporting educators with a comprehensive suite of teaching and learning resources. Our textbook packages are often embedded with learning resources for teachers and students including digital ones such as animations, virtual manipulatives, Maths games, interactive quizzes, and more. They are also accompanied by lesson plans offering teaching ideas, fully fleshed out activities and worksheets, differentiated learning resources, and lesson-by-lesson slides for joyful and meaningful learning. Other than print textbooks and workbooks, schools can opt for e-textbooks and workbooks for hybrid lessons.

With digital tools, learning can now take place anytime and anywhere. Our digital resources support our textbook packages and have been carefully designed to engage learners as well as enable and enrich their learning.

The use of artificial intelligence through our partnerships with Scribo and Presto by Literatu, Knowledgehook and Cerebry also means that we can offer a personalised pathway for every child, while making the teacher’s work easier through automated generation of appropriate content and practices at each learner’s readiness level.

The promise of MCE is to make learning simple.

We have always worked with this goal in mind and will persist in doing so. Given the boost from the latest advances in technology, Marshall Cavendish Education is hopeful that we can better support teachers and learners to achieve more effective teaching and learning outcomes than ever before, even going beyond grades to outcomes that matter to students’ future success as global citizens.

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