Marshall Cavendish Education

Unlocking the Joy and Success of Learning Mathematics for Every Child

Apr 2023

Unlocking the Joy and Success of Learning Maths

Breaking the Maths Myth

As an educator, I have noticed that many young learners often develop maths anxiety, leading to a dislike or even fear of Maths, sadly. It is unfortunate that these learners seem to have the misconception that Maths is only for the "smart kids" or that they simply are not good at it. 

However, I am a firm believer that we can change these beliefs and mindsets through effective learning and teaching methods. By using visual models and other proven pedagogies, we can help students see and understand what might initially appear to be a “theoretical and abstract” subject, in fact, is a “practical and living” subject that surrounds us every day. 

I am passionate about unlocking the mystery of Maths and showing every child that they can learn and enjoy the subject, and not just those who are “gifted”. With the right approach, it is possible to help all students develop a love for Maths. 

The MCE Maths Approach

One of the key instructional strategies we leverage for our MCE Maths approach is the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (C-P-A) approach, which was derived from the Singapore Maths approach. The C-P-A approach enables learners to actively engage with mathematics, gain a deep understanding and master mathematical concepts. The approach offers accessible entry points for all learners to progress through the stages of learning. Here is how it works:

1. At the Concrete stage, learners may use manipulatives or mathematical tools to make meaning of mathematics.

2. Moving on to the Pictorial stage, learners will connect their concrete experiences to visual models that represent the situation. This learning experience helps them better understand and analyse the situation, as the visual models make the thinking process visible.

3. Finally, at the Abstract stage, learners will use formal notations to communicate their mathematical thinking and solve problems. The C-P-A approach ensures that learners of different levels of readiness can learn actively and persevere in achieving success.


Another central focus in achieving success in learning maths would be practising effective mathematical problem-solving methods. It encourages learners to reflect on their thinking process as well as to master mathematical concepts and apply them to nonroutine, open-ended, and real-world problems.

Hence, our learning activities are curated to allow learners to learn for, about, and through problem solving (Schroder & Lester, 1989), and the four-step problem-solving model inspired by Polya’s (1957) work, will guide learners to become skilled problem solvers by developing their problem-solving strategies, metacognition, and growth mindset.

The examples below show how we infused the research-based mathematical problem-solving model to make learning maths accessible and successful.


The MCEmpower – Effective Pedagogy, Digital Learning Resources & Professional Development for Educators

As the ways of delivering and receiving education evolve, it is important for educators to be able to provide the best possible blended learning experiences for learners of all ages. The MCEmpower was introduced in 2019, where we curated learning resources that support hybrid learning – very much in time for the COVID-19 outbreak. The MCEmpower included our proven pedagogies for successful learning, our AI-driven digital learning solutions, and our full-suite, certified courses for professional development and learning needs all in one place.

Below are examples of our MCEmpower for Maths:

1. Real-time feedback and support for MCE Primary Mathematics Series (U.S. Curriculum)

As a result of one of our most recent collaborations with leading education technology provider KnowledgeHook, we provide a powerful ecosystem of research-backed mathematics pedagogies, gamified assessments, learning data and reporting, and actionable instructional support for our Primary Mathematics series (U.S. Curriculum), currently adopted in both the U.S. and the Middle East. We have also included professional development courses for teachers that are designed to be aligned with the series.

2. AI-driven adaptive personalised learning for our latest MCE Cambridge IGCSE™ Mathematics Series

Another one of our partnerships with Cerebry, an AI-Driven Adaptive Maths Practice platform, enables us to promote self-directed learning and improve learners’ growth. Through the AI-Driven and Adaptive platform, we provide a range of personalised assessments for educators to access easily. MCE has also developed a series of certified courses available on MCEduHub for Professional Development to help educators effectively teach and adopt the series.

The MCE Maths Approach has contributed to the success of many Singaporean students in international studies such as TIMSS and PISA, and we strive to help children worldwide achieve success. And with the MCEmpower, we believe that our holistic approach will equip both educators and learners with the latest tools and best practices, creating a joyful teaching and learning experience!

Beyond dispelling the myth that Maths is not for everyone, we should encourage every child to believe that they deserve a chance to enjoy learning Mathematics, just as they deserve a chance to succeed. By equipping learners with the right resources and guidance, we can inspire each of them to maximise their potential.

Learn more about the MCE Maths Approach and MCEmpower at

MCE’s Professional Development Courses at

MCE’s MasterClasses LIVE at

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