From the Confucian Tradition to the Digital Era: The Case of Mathematics Teaching in Hong Kong

in International Journal of Chinese Education
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increase in research focused on studying on perspectives of Chinese mathematics instructions. The sustained interest is partly due to the outstanding performances of Chinese students in international studies such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (Mullis, et al., 2012) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2010); and partly due to the shared interest in comparative studies of instructional practice across different cultural systems. What have we learned about in mathematics classrooms from international studies? Findings of international studies suggest that how the teacher used the tasks so that the cognitive demand of the learning tasks could be sustained is very important. Despite the good performances of Hong Kong students in international studies, there is a gap between traditional classroom practice and the long established goals for promoting generic capacity in mathematics learning; most of the traditional learning tasks in Hong Kong classrooms are apparently routine and serving a demonstrative purpose as a result of the highly competitive systems. Based on triangulation of the findings of the analysis of the mathematics lessons at different levels, the study shown some robust features in the traditional mathematics teaching practice in Hong Kong classrooms in contrast to some innovative scenarios in a special mathematics lesson. Finally, the author re-examines the robust features in the context of curriculum reforms and the cultural context of Confucian tradition.

Sections
References
  • BiggsJ. (1998). Learning from the Confucian heritage: So size doesn’t matter? International Journal of Educational Research29723738.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BiggsJ. B. (1991). Approaches to learning in secondary and tertiary students in Hong Kong: Some comparative studies. Educational Research Journal6(1) 2739.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BiggsJ. B. (1996). Western misperceptions of the Confucian-heritage learning culture. In D. A. Watkins & J. B. Biggs (eds.) The Chinese Learner: Cultural psychological and contextual influences pp. 4567. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CaiJ.MokI. A. C.ReddyV.StaceyK. (2016). International Comparative Studies in Mathematics: Lessons for improving students’ learning. Springer International Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CaiJ. & WangT. (2010). Conceptions of effective mathematics teaching within a cultural context: Perspectives of teachers from China and the United States. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education13(3) 265287.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ClarkJ. L.ScarinoA. & BrownellJ. A. (1994). Improving the Quality of Learning: A framework for Target-Oriented Curriculum Renewal in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Bank Language Development Fund Institute of Language in Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ClarkeD. (2006). The LPS Research Design. In D. ClarkeC. Keitel and Y. Shimizu (eds.) Mathematics Classrooms in 12 Countries: The insiders’ perspective (pp. 1536). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers B.V.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CleverleyJ. F. (1985). The Schooling of China: Tradition and modernity in Chinese education. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

  • Confucius. (1979). The Confucian Analects the great learning & the doctrine of the mean tr. J. Legge. New York: Dover Publications.

  • Curriculum Development Council Hong Kong. (1995). Target Oriented Curriculum programme of Study for Mathematics key stage 1 (primary 1–3). Hong Kong: Curriculum Development Council.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Curriculum Development Council and The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. (2014). Mathematics Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4–6). Hong Kong: Education and Manpower Bureau.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Education Commission. (1990). ECR4. The Curriculum and Behaviour Problems in School. Hong Kong: Government Printer.

  • Education Commission. (2000). Learning for Life learning Through Life: Reform Proposal for the Education System in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Education Commission.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GuL.HuangR. & MartonF. (2004). Teaching with variation: A Chinese way of promoting effective mathematics learning. In L. FanN. Y. WongJ. Cai & S. Li (eds.) How Chinese Learn Mathematics: Perspective from Insiders (pp. 309347). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HoD. Y. (1986). Chinese patterns of socialization: A critical review. In BondM. H. (ed.) The Psychology of the Chinese People137. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hong Kong Education Bureau. Mathematics Education. Retrieved from https://www.edb.gov.hk/en/curriculum-development/kla/ma/index.html.

  • HuangR.MokI. A. C. & LeungF. K. S. (2006). Repetition or Variation—“Practice” in the Mathematics Classrooms in China. In D. ClarkeC. Keitel & Y. Shimizu (eds.) Mathematics classrooms in 12 countries: The insiders’ perspective (pp. 263274). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers B.V.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeeW. O. (1996). The cultural context for Chinese learners: Conceptions of Learning in the Confucian tradition. In D. Watkins and J. Biggs (eds.) The Chinese learner: Cultural psychological and contextual influences346367.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeungF. K. S. (1995). The mathematics classroom in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. Educational Studies in Mathematics29297325.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LiS. (2006). Practice makes perfect: A key belief in China. In F. K. S. LeungK.-D. Graf & F. J. Lopez-Real (eds.) Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions: A comparative study of East Asia and the West (pp. 129138). New York: Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LlewellynJ.HancockG.KirstM. & RoeloffsK. (1982). A Perspective on Education in Hong Kong: Report by a visiting panel. Hong Kong: Government.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MartonF. (2014). Necessary conditions of learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • MokI. A. C. (2015). Research On Mathematics Classroom Practice: An International Perspective. In Sung Je ChoSelected Regular Lectures From The 12th International Congress On Mathematical Education. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mok I. A. C. andClarke D. (2015). The Contemporary Importance of Triangulation in a Post-Positivist World: Examples from the Learner’s Perspective Study In: Bikner-AhsbahsA.KnippingC. and PresmegN.Approaches to Qualitative Research in Mathematics Education403425. NetherlandsSpringer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MokI. A. C.KaurB.ZhuY. & YauK.W. (2013). What Really Matters to Students? A Comparison between Hong Kong and Singapore Mathematics Lessons. In B. KaurG. AnthonyM. Ohtani and D. Clarke (Eds.). Student Voice in mathematics classrooms around the world. 189208. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers B.V.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MokI. A. C. (2009). In search of an exemplary mathematics lesson in Hong Kong: An algebra lesson on factorization of polynomials. ZDM41319332.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MokI. A. C. & MorrisP. (2001). The metamorphosis of the ‘Virtuoso’: Pedagogic patterns in Hong Kong primary mathematics classrooms. Teaching and Teacher Education17(4) 455468.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MorrisP. (1995). The Hong Kong school curriculum: Development issues and policies. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

  • MorrisP. & AdamsonR. (1997). Primary Schooling in Hong Kong. In J. Moyles and L. Hargreaves (eds.) The primary curriculum: Learning from international perspectives pp. 181204. London and New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MullisI. V. S.MartinM. O.FoyP. & AroraA. (with OlsonJ. F.PreuschoffC.ErberberE.AroraA. & GaliaJ.). (2012) TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics. (pp. 139171). Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1989). Curriculum and evaluation standard for school Mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • National Curriculum Council. (1991). National Curriculum Council consultation report: Mathematics. York, UK: National Curriculum Council.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2010). PISA 2009 results: What students know and can do: Student performance in reading mathematics and science. Vol. 1Paris: OECD.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PaineL. W. (1990). The Teacher as Virtuoso: A Chinese Model for Teaching. Teachers College Record92(1) Fall issue 4981.

  • RunessonU. & MokI. A. C. (2005). The teaching of fractions: A comparative study of a Swedish and a Hong Kong classroom. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education10(2) 115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • StevensonW & LeeS. (1997). The East Asian Version of Whole-Class Teaching. In W. K. Cumming & P. G. Altbach (eds.) The Challenge of Eastern Asian Education pp. 3349. Albany, USA: State University of New York Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • StiglerJ. W. & HiebertJ. (2004). Improving mathematics teaching. Educational leadership61(5) 1217.

  • StiglerJames W. & HiebertJames. (1997). Understanding and Improving Classroom Mathematics Instruction: An Overview of the TIMSS Video Study. Phi Delta Kappan [On-line serial]. Available: 1997 Sept. p. 14.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VygotskyL. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological process. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • WatkinsD. A. & BiggsJ. B. (eds.). (2001). Teaching the Chinese learner: Psychological and pedagogical perspectives. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WatkinsD. A. & BiggsJ. B. (eds.). (1996). The Chinese learner: Cultural psychological and contextual influences. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • YangK. S. (1986). Chinese personality and its change. In BondM. H. (ed.) The psychology of the Chinese people106170. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • YauK. & MokI.A.C. (2016). Insights from students’ private work in their notebooks: How do students learn from the teacher’s examples? Educational Studies in Mathematics93:275292.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Figures
  • View in gallery
    Extracts of the teacher example
  • View in gallery
    The special worksheet for the activity measuring the height of the bell “Aramis”
  • View in gallery
    Images in the “traditional paradigm”, the “lessons using Geogebra software” and the “special lesson”
Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 53 53 9
Full Text Views 2 2 0
PDF Downloads 6 6 6
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0