Maths through music in Dominica

| November 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

On the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, children struggle with maths, like their peers all over the world. Now its Ministry of Education has come up with a new way to tackle primary school students’ poor performance. In early September 2012, amid much fanfare, it launched a CD produced by numeracy specialists, entitled Multiplication Tables: Mastering Tables through Music. The CD will become the national teaching method for very young children in every public school on the island.

The CD is based on research that links mathematical and musical abilities. It uses different genres of music popular in Dominica, such as bouyon, and challenges children to learn their tables via three levels of challenges woven into six songs.

At the first level, the table is first sung completely, twice. Students are then given the opportunity to ‘sing’ the products of the multipliers at challenge level two. Each table is shuffled at challenge level three and students are allowed to give products of multipliers.

Education Minister Petter St Jean has expressed concerns over performance in mathematics in Dominica’s schools. “Students’ scores point to the need to address with greater urgency the problems associated with teaching and learning of numeracy,” he said recently.

Category: Summer 2012

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