Mathematical Achievement for All

The Israeli Organization for Mathematical Achievement for All (IFMA), and the Department of Scientific Education at the Technion were supported during 2004 by the S. Neaman Institute. IFMA has translated mathematics books from Singapore, a country which leads the world in mathematics education, and is using these books in 116 schools around the country. The principles of the books are:

  • Starting from the concrete
  • Stress on the meaning of the operations, before reaching their calculation.
  • Attention to fine points of meaning.

Beyond the principles of the books, the principles of IFMA are:

  • Work with the entire class
  • The children are seated facing the teacher. The teacher is the leader of the discussion in class.
  • Lessons are composed mostly of joint experimentation and discussion, as opposed to the filling of workbooks that prevailed in Israeli schools during the last 20 years.

The success of the IFMA program is impressive by all criteria - the satisfaction of principals, teachers, parents and students, and by tests conducted both internally and by external bodies.

Recently, IFMA started working in kindergartens, again with books used in Singapore.

The support of the S. Neaman Institute was used for teacher training and for supervision in schools. Part of the latter is done by IFMA members without pay, but because of the current large scale of the operation, a significant part of it is done by paid instructors.

The IFMA activities are accompanied by a followup research, conducted by Dr. Shira Cohen-Regev. Some IFMA members publish papers describing the spirit of the organization and the results in schools. These articles are aimed at teachers working with IFMA, as well as for other teachers.


Tags: Education
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