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Classification and framing of mathematical knowledge in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and the United States. (English)
Leung, Frederick K. S. (ed.) et al., Mathematics education in different cultural traditions. A comparative study of East Asia and the West. The 13th ICMI study. Final outcome from the 13th ICMI study conference, Hong Kong, China, October 2002. New York, NY: Springer (ISBN 0-387-29722-7/hbk). New ICMI Studies Series 9, 195-211 (2006).
Summary: The authors compare the classification of mathematical knowledge, and the degree to which content areas are segregated, in textbooks used in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and the United States. They found that in Asian countries, textbooks contain clearly separated topics, while in the United States, the mathematics content within each chapter of a textbook is more heterogeneous. Further, teachers in China, Singapore and Hong Kong are required to teach according to the textbooks, while teachers in the United States are encouraged to bring in knowledge from outside the classroom in presenting their lessons. The authors link these findings to cultural traditions of the East and the West, in that a positional compliance ideology dominates the East (where everyone has his/her own place in the society home), while a contractual compliance ideology is the norm for the United States (where there are negotiating processes between the individual and the authority). Consequently, the curriculum differences between the East and the West is not simply a matter of choice or preference, but they relate to deeper cultural issues and therefore would be difficulty to change overnight.
Classification: B70 D30 U20 C60
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