Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 241-263

First online:

A comparison of Korean and American secondary school textbooks: the case of quadratic equations

  • Dae S. HongAffiliated withUniversity of Iowa Email author 
  • , Kyong Mi ChoiAffiliated withUniversity of Iowa

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This study compares quadratic equations sections of Korean and American textbooks. The number of topics, contents and mathematics items were analyzed. The results show Korean students learn some topics relatively earlier than American students. American textbooks include more problems requiring explanations and various representations and problems requiring higher level cognitive demand. This result could indicate that textbooks might not be the reason for American and Korean students’ performances in international comparative studies. More studies analyzing other standards based textbooks and teaching practice might be needed to have further understanding of mathematics education in two countries.


Comparative study Textbook analysis Cognitive demand of mathematics items