Interpretations of national curricula: the case of geometry in textbooks from England and Japan. (English)

ZDM, Int. J. Math. Educ. 45, No. 5, 671-683 (2013).

Summary: This paper reports on how the geometry component of the national curricula for mathematics in Japan and in one selected country of the UK, specifically England, is interpreted in school mathematics textbooks from major publishers sampled from each country. The findings we report identify features of geometry, and approaches to geometry teaching and learning, that are found in a sample of textbooks aimed at students in grade 8 (aged 13‒14). Our analysis raises two issues which are widely recognised as very important in mathematics education: the teaching of mathematical reasoning and proof, and the teaching of problem solving. In terms of the teaching of mathematical reasoning and proof, our evidence indicates that this is dispersed in the textbook in England while it is concentrated in geometry in the textbook in Japan. In terms of the teaching of mathematical problem-solving and modeling, our analysis shows that it is more concentrated in the textbook from England, and rather more dispersed in the textbook from Japan. These findings indicate how important it is to consider ways in which these issues can be carefully designed in the geometry sections of future textbooks.