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Mathematics education in east Asia. (English)
Cho, Sung Je (ed.), The proceedings of the 12th international congress on mathematics education. Intellectual and attitudinal challenges, COEX, Seoul, Korea, July 8‒15, 2012. Cham: Springer (ISBN 978-3-319-10685-4/pbk; 978-3-319-12688-3/ebook). 123-143 (2015).
Summary: Students in East Asia have been performing extremely well in international studies of mathematics achievements such as TIMSS and PISA. On the other hand, education practices in East Asian countries look different from Western practices, and some practices look very backward and contradictory to what are considered as good practices. Given these intriguing phenomena, this plenary panel aims to discuss different aspects of mathematics education in these East Asian countries, and illustrate its salient features with examples. These aspects include classroom teaching in regular schools and tutorial schools, and pre-service and in-service teacher education and development. The reasons behind the distinctive features of mathematics education in East Asia are then explored, and it is argued that the common Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) that these countries share best explain these features. This panel presentation is not meant to promote the superior student achievement or good educational practices in East Asia. Rather, it highlights the cultural differences between CHC and Western cultures, rather than the superiority of one over the other. A cultural explanation also means that simple transplant of educational policies and practices from one culture to another will not work. The panel points to the important role culture plays in accounting for educational practices and student achievement.
Classification: B20 D30 B50 C60
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