The boom in Indian math education

Indian mathematics began in South Asia, the earliest evidence of its use is seen in the artefacts of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization aka the Harappan civilization (2600-1900 BCE) and the Iron Age Vedic culture (1500-500 BCE). In the classical period of Indian mathematics (400 CE to 1200 CE).
Indian mathematicians made important early contributions to the study of the decimal number system, zero, negative numbers, arithmetic, and algebra. The many math concepts were transmitted through the generations from ancient times till 18th century through oral mathematical tradition, ie by the memorization through recitation technique.
In addition, trigonometry, having evolved in the Hellenistic world and having been introduced into ancient India through the translation of Greek works, was further advanced in India, and, in particular, the modern definitions of sine and cosine were developed by India.
These mathematical concepts were transmitted to the Middle East, China, and Europe and led to further developments that now form the foundations of many areas of mathematics.
Read more about the history of Indian math here.

To see samples of Indian math and Vedic math concepts, you can watch several lectures on Youtube.

Youtube shows how Indian multiplication method works  Also here

On the 9 pt circle

Also check out Vedic Math Digit Sums Check

What is Vedic Maths? Watch it here

Fastmaths : Vedic mathematics part 1 see Youtube.com

My favourite is this one: Vedic Maths Squaring and Cubing Numbers Youtube.com  A particularly great technique … learn how to do squaring and cubing without a calculator and quickly too.    ***

Indian math concepts and teaching are taught to Indian school students via the national curriculum. Like in Japan, today Indian schools also use a national math curriculum, which means that the teachers know exactly what should be taught, practiced and learned at each grade level, and, they focus only on teaching those topics.

Since 2007, a fad following Indian-style education blew through Japan. Many publications with titles like “Extreme Indian Arithmetic Drills”and “The Unknown Secrets of the Indians” hit the bookstands expounding and explaining Indian math techniques, and Indian math drillbooks (in Japanese) can still be seen on sale even in neighborhood supermarket magazine stands alongside of fashion magazines.

The new edu-craze is thought widely to have been sparked by insecurity caused by the huge slide in rankings in the recent OECD survey … namely, the fall in Japan’s math skills from first place in year 2000 to 10th place … behind Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. 

During this time, a few local Indian international schools (there are about half a dozen) expanded and saw a surge in Japanese applicants. At the Little Angels English Academy & International Kindergarten, where the textbooks are from India and the students are taught mostly by South Asian teachers, only one of its 45 students is Indian. Most are Japanese.

The Global Indian International School says that 20 of its some 200 students are Japanese, with demand so high from Indian and Japanese parents that it is building a second campus in the neighboring city of Yokohama. The other, the India International School in Japan, recently expanded to 170 students last year, including 10 Japanese.

 

For reference and for more information visit the following links:
Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools by Ko Sasaki The New York Times January 2, 2008 
At Little Angels English Academy & International Kindergarten, founded by an Indian woman, 2-year-olds count to 20, 3-year-olds use computers, and 5-year-olds write essays in English. (The story was also published in the Straits Times as Indian-style education system catches on in Japan NY Times)

Indian schools make a mark Japan Tiimes.co.jp By YOKO HANI
Indian Math Online website – was inspired by one its co-founders, Bob Compton. Compton visited several schools – from kindergarten classes in Bangalore to high school classes in rural India and became impressed with Indian math education.
After researching the Indian math standards, Bob assessed his daughter’s math skills and determined that they were at least two years behind the same aged children who studied in India. He also saw that Indian students were being evaluated more frequently and practiced math more intently.
Bob along with partner Suresh developed an online system that would use the Indian standards to assess a child’s math proficiency, and then prescribe a series of practice problems as well as reading assignments to increase and reinforce their math proficiency.
Visit his Indian Math Online website http://www.indianmathonline.com/

Watch also Bob Compton’s “2 million minutes documentary” http://www.2mminutes.com/ or http://jp.youtube.com/2MillionMinutes that makes a comparative look at the academic race between the US, China and India.
(While you’re at it, you might also be interested in watching Ben Stein (author, economist and TV celebrity) who speaks on the current state of education in the United States or Watch it at Youtube. Other videos in the similar vein are:  America’s education debate – 22 Aug Ben Stein – America’s Education Crisis )

6 thoughts on “The boom in Indian math education”

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