École Bilingue Chardin
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Laetitia Grail, Member of the Advisory Board of l'École Bilingue Chardin

Laetitia Grail (mathematician, author and entrepreneur), honored us of being a Member of the Advisory Board of l'École Bilingue Chardin.

In this video, Laetitia tells us about the importance of mathematics and its innovative methods. We invite you to discover his interview.

The interview can be found in its entirety by clicking here

Hello, I’m Laetitia Grail, I’ve worked as a math teacher in France and England, and I’ve founded multiple companies in the high-tech sector. I am also an author of a book about learning math.

Math is neither simple nor complicated and it's through practicing it that we understand it. There is a researcher at Stanford University, a researcher in psychology called Carol Dweck and she showed, among her other studies, that children who believe their effort is important in being good at math, become good at math. They outperform in their math results compared to those who believe that it is an innate quality and that you are either good or bad at math. It is so important to be able to convince children that it is effort. It is regular practice that leads to good results in math and it's also the job of teachers at Chardin bilingual school not just to teach math, but to teach what Carol Dweck calls the growth mindset, that is, this ability to believe that you will be good at math.

The CRA method is an acronym, C for concrete, R for representational and A for abstract. This method is much better known as the Singapore math method. So it has proven very effective where it is applied, in mainly Asian countries. However, it is a method that comes mostly from teachers or teaching in the West. So, it is always, regardless of which math concept is being approached, it is always followed as per these three steps: firstly, the concrete phase. This is manipulating objects; then, the representational phase, where objects are represented by images or drawings; and only after do we reach the third phase which is abstraction, which we understand more generally in math, we use figures and mathematical symbols. This CRA method also puts constant emphasis on problem solving which lays the groundwork for a successful future academic career in math. Lastly, this method has proven to be effective for helping students progress step by step and completely calmly.

I don't think we say it enough but the contribution of math to our modern economies is absolutely fundamental. There is virtually no part of the economy that isn't affected, the same goes for medicine, biology, even marketing. Now, we use data and therefore math to do work. Then, what to say to the vast majority of people who say they don't use math later in life? Well, I would say that it's such a broad education. It's not just math formulas, it’s a culture. It's the skill of abstraction. The world of tomorrow asks us to imagine, to devise increasingly complex concepts. And math is a tool of rationality and critical thinking that can contribute to all of that through learning about modeling in math.

I wouldn't say it was important, I'd say it's essential. Chardin bilingual preschool and primary school has chosen wisely, in choosing to train all their teachers, of different teaching practices, in math. In general, we know that teachers often come from art subjects before starting their careers and are therefore often more comfortable teaching languages or humanities. Having decided on a fixed curriculum of arts, sports and math, Chardin bilingual school follows up with concrete actions by training all teachers in math and how to teach math.

This  advisory board at Chardin bilingual school seeks to approve the school's main strategic policies and also to confirm faithfulness to the school's founding principles. It is largely made up of individuals who are all passionate about education and intend on working in close alignment with the school's direction.

I would like to welcome every student to Ecole Bilingue Chardin as well as their parents.


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