Vietnam to teach probability and statistics to second graders
Under the new general education program, the mathematics curriculum will focus on three major parts: arithmetic, algebra and analytical factors; geometry and measurement; and statistics and probability.
Of these, statistics and probability enhance the applicability and practical value of mathematics education.
The purpose of the statistics and probability module is to give students the ability to perceive and analyze information presented in many different forms, understand the probabilistic nature of many dependencies in reality; and create understanding about the role of statistics as an important source of social information, and help students apply statistical thinking to analyze data.
On education forums, many parents have expressed their concern about the teaching of probability and statistics to general school students. Some parents even called it a ‘crazy idea’ to teach probability and statistics to small children at this age.
|On education forums, many parents have expressed their concern about the teaching of probability and statistics to general school students. Some parents even called it a ‘crazy idea’ to teach probability and statistics to small children at this age.|
Tran Phuong Mai, a parent in Dong Da district in Hanoi, in an email to VietNamNet, wrote that she cannot understand why probability and statistics, which is a difficult subject even for mathematics majors at university, will be taught to primary school students.
“I understand that students now need to be equipped with knowledge to prepare themselves for the 4.0 era. However, I am afraid that probability and statistics are beyond general school students’ capability,” she wrote.
Ha Dinh Hanh, a mathematics teacher from Hoc Mai education system, has reassured the public.
In fact, under the old general education program, students also begin with probability and statistics early.
“The story here is just the name of the subject,” he said.
Le Hai Nam, a PhD student from Dublin University, in his article published on VnExpress, also commented that teaching of probability and statistics at primary school is ‘radical thinking’ and ‘completely not crazy’.
“If Germany, Japan, the UK and Australia have done it (teaching probability and statistics to primary school students), why can't we?” he asked.
“If teaching can bring benefit and help the formation of critical thinking, something that Vietnamese students have been lacking for many decades, then why not put probability and statistics into teaching?” he said.
Associate Prof Dr Le Anh Vinh, editor of mathematics curriculum for primary education, said that probability and statistics for primary education level are simple problems which have relations to real life, which can be taught at preschool.
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