Do you know what Chisanbop is? It’s a Korean method of learning to do math computation on your fingers that was used in North American schools in the 1970s and 80s. I took the course taught here in Manitoba by Dave and Margaret Froese and used it with my students for quite a number of years. The teaching method was interesting and different and so my students from Elmdale School in Steinbach were featured in our local newspaper using Chisanbop in math class. This photo accompanied the article.
In November of 1979 I was quoted in a Winnipeg Free Press article about the calculation method.
There was a story about Chisanbop in Macleans magazine. There was even a segment featuring Chisanbop on the Johnny Carson show. Fred McMurray of My Three Sons fame did advertisements for the Chisanbop system on television.
Chisanbop lost its popularity after a time but I was reminded of the mathematical instruction method by an article in the April 2016 edition of The Atlantic that talks about why teachers should encourage their students to use their fingers in math class. Brain science is currently teaching us that using your fingers to do math can be a visual learning technique essential to mathematical achievement.
It’s interesting how in education old ideas can suddenly become new and new ideas can quickly become old.