Teaching algebraic concepts in Chinese classrooms: a case study of systems of linear equations. (English)

Leung, Frederick Koon Shing (ed.) et al., Algebra teaching around the world. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers (ISBN 978-94-6209-706-3/hbk; 978-94-6209-705-6/pbk; 978-94-6209-707-0/ebook). The Learnerâ€™s Perspective Study 5, 191-211 (2014).

From the text: The aforementioned studies of Chinese mathematics classrooms focused mainly on the structure of classroom instruction, and content treatment in general. It should be interesting to understand how Chinese teachers teach a specific algebra concept or algorithm. The Chinese Learnersâ€™ Perspective Study (LPS) data focus on the teaching of the same topic, introducing the concepts of systems of linear equations and their solutions, over several consecutive lessons. These data provide a unique opportunity to investigate how a concept/algorithm is taught in China. As classroom teaching is complex, there may be many different ways to make observations and interpretations. It is necessary to understand the lessons within a certain theoretical framework to see how an environment conducive to learning can be created. For this purpose, a framework of variation that has been known to be popular in Chinese pedagogy to examine the teaching of concepts was selected. This study not only contributes to an understanding of how Chinese teachers teach an algebra concept, but also provides an example for international researchers to contrast with other effective ways of teaching algebra.