Discussion group 14:
International comparisons in mathematics education
Joaquín Antonio Mora Auditorium - Architecture

The last decades have seen a growing interest in comparative studies around the world, among politicians as well as educators. The discussion group will deal with international comparisons in mathematics education under a broad perspective considering the chances they offer for a better understanding of one’s own educational system as well as its weaknesses and dangers. The discussion group will discuss international comparative studies referring to all age groups, i.e. primary school to university education (especially teacher education). The following questions will be tackled:
• How do international comparisons contribute to or challenge the current understanding of mathematics learning, teaching, and teacher education in various national contexts?
• What influences does such an understanding produce, for better or for worse, on national traditions, values, cultures, and approaches to mathematics education?
• How can international comparisons in mathematics education and teacher education foster and further national development?

The work of the discussion group will be structured as follows:
After a short introduction into the theme of the group and the general questions to be tackled, the work of the group will be grouped along the following three themes: Comparative studies
• on teaching practices
• on teacher education
• on the relationship of students’ cultural backgrounds and motivation with achievement

Papers addressing these three topics, which have been accepted by the organising committee, will be structured along these three themes. The following papers will be discussed, but only shortly presented (10 minutes per presentation):

The first session will be devoted to teaching practices and its comparisons and will tackle the following papers:
- Lingefjaerd: Mathematical modelling across national borders
- Andrews, Sayers: Examining the veracitiy of national mathematics teaching script
- Groves, Doig: Two case studies on classroom practices in different countries
- Clarke, Shimizu: Bridging the teaching gap: the Learner’s Perspective Study.

The second session will address comparative studies in teacher education based on the following papers:
- Leung, Wong, Chan, Cheung, Han: The competence of potential mathematics teachers from Hong Kong – a comparative study
- Kaiser, Schwarz, Stillman, Leung,: Competencies in argumentation and proof – a comparative study of future mathematics teachers from Australia, Germany, and Hong Kong
- Wong, Rowland, Chang, Cheung, Han: To what extent are our mathematics equipped with adequate mathematics to teach: a comparative perspective.
- Sorto, Luschei, Marshall: Teacher Education, Teacher Knowledge and Teaching in Panama and Costa Rica: A Comparative Study.

The third session will be devoted to the theme on the relationship of the students’ cultural background and its relationship to motivation and achievement:
- Wang and Lin: Examining the self-concept and mathematics achievement relationship using TIMSS
- Roane: Perspectives from Latin America: Lessons for U.S. English Learners

A short summary and reflection will conclude the sessions of the group.

The following questions will be tackled:
How do international comparisons contribute to or challenge the current understanding of mathematics learning, teaching, and teacher education in various national contexts? What influences does such an understanding produce, for better or for worse, on national traditions, values, cultures, and approaches to mathematics education? How can international comparisons in mathematics education and teacher education foster and further national development?

  • Gabriele Kaiser (Germany)
    gabriele.kaiser@uni-hamburg.de
  • Sue Thomson (Australia)
    thomsons@acer.edu.au
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Team members:
  • Vijay Reddy (South Africa)
    VReddy@HSRC.ac.za
  • Jian Wang (USA)
    wangj2@unlv.nevada.edu
  • Wong Ngai Ying (China, Hong Kong SAR)
    nywong@cuhk.edu.hk
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