The East China Normal University Press (ECNUP), which published the popular Chinese math coaching textbook, One Practice after Each Lesson (its English version is called Shanghai Math Project Practice Book), announced recently that it will collaborate with Harper Collins Publishers to export the coaching book, Five-Minute Math Mastery, to the UK.
Fan Lianghuo, a mathematics educator and Chief Distinguished Professor at East China Normal University, said that the Shanghai Math Project Practice Book entering the mainstream education system of the UK shows the improvement of China’s education.
“Exporting textbooks is groundbreaking, laying a good foundation for future international exchanges in publishing and education at home and abroad. It is also the result of the accumulation of China’s educational exploration and development for many years,” said Fan.
In 2012, students from Shanghai took first place in the tests of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) organized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The British government sent a delegation to Shanghai to learn about the teaching materials and coaching textbooks used by Chinese teachers and students.
In February 2015, the East China Normal University Press, HarperCollins Publishers and Fan Lianghuo’s British Mathematics Education Team signed a contract.
Then a series of math textbooks called Shanghai Math Project Practice Book was published by HarperCollins Publishers.
“Excellent content is the basis for copyright output,” said Ni Ming, the president of the Coaching Branch of the ECNUP.
In the UK, there are more than 400 schools affiliated to more than 100 local education administrations (LEA) using the Shanghai Math Project Practice Book for primary schools.
In August 2017, the books’ popularity even exceeded some bestsellers after they were sold on Amazon.
By the end of 2017, the Shanghai Maths Project Practice Book had sold more than 40,000 volumes.
This is not the only example of China’s textbook popularity outside China.
In Malaysia, more than 50,000 students from 60 independent Chinese secondary schools have used the full set of scientific materials tailored for them by the Zhejiang Education Publishing Group.
With this successful experience, the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) continued to entrust the Zhejiang Education Publishing Group with preparing high school physics, chemistry and biology textbooks to form a coherent high school science teaching system.
At the end of this year, two African French-speaking countries Mali and Cameroon will use the French version of the math textbooks from the Zhejiang Education Publishing Group at elementary schools.
“Some people say my son may not be able to study math well. Today, when I got this magical math book, he completed a 5-page math exercise. I am so glad!” a reader said on Amazon.
In the eyes of Wang Yan, the president of the ECNUP, whether coaching textbooks or other books, the most important things is to seize the opportunity brought by China’s development and recognized by other countries’ mainstream society.
“Only by integrating our textbooks in other countries’ societies can they go outside China,” he said.
(Reported by Jiang Hongbing and Jiang Nan)