Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions-A Comparative Study of East Asia and the West

Volume 9 of the series New ICMI Study Series pp 261-275

Case Studies on Mathematics Assessment Practices in Australian and Chinese Primary Schools

  • Zhao Da-Cheng Affiliated withMacquarie University
  • , Joanne MulliganAffiliated withMacquarie University
  • , Michael MitchelmoreAffiliated withMacquarie University

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5. Conclusion

To sum up, the case studies have demonstrated a gap between the intended and the implemented mathematics assessment — both in the Australian School A and the Chinese School C. The data suggest that limitations in time, resources, professional training, and parental support were the main reasons for this gap in School A. For School C, large class sizes, restrictions imposed by traditional culture, and lack of professional training in assessment were the principle reasons.

Considerable differences in mathematics assessment practices between School A and School C were also found. This gap is at least partially explained by differences in beliefs about mathematics education and assessment, and in different values attributed to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in Australian and Chinese cultures.

These findings suggest that the relatively high mathematics achievement of Chinese children cannot only be attributed to the teaching they receive. Other factors such as motivation to achieve, parental help, and after-school mathematics study certainly play a significant role.