What Primary Students in the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan Value in Mathematics Learning: A Comparative Analysis

  • Qiaoping ZhangEmail author
  • Tasos Barkatsas
  • Huk-Yuen Law
  • Yuh-Chyn Leu
  • Wee Tiong Seah
  • Ngai-Ying Wong


It has become increasingly recognized that what teachers and students value affect teaching and learning in general and in the area of mathematics in particular. Yet, the extent to which this is so varies across cultural regions. In recent years, how the ethnic Chinese teach and learn mathematics has attracted much attention worldwide. It is precisely the purpose of the present study to investigate the value structures of three Chinese regions. Using a recently developed and validated questionnaire, students’ values in mathematics learning in the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan are delineated. In the first place, the results reveal that there are six dimensions in the students’ value structure, namely achievement, relevance, practice, communication, information and communications technology as well as feedback. However, in each of the six value components derived from the principal components analysis, statistically significant differences between the regions were found.


Cross-cultural comparison Effective teaching Factor structure Mathematics learning The Chinese learner Values 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to all those who helped in administering questionnaires for us in the respective various regions. Special thanks are also due to the anonymous reviewers, whose comments contributed in the shaping the final version of this article. We would also like to thank Ms. Irene Sze who provided helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. The first author acknowledges the financial support by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants) (Project Code: 4058011).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiaoping Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tasos Barkatsas
    • 2
  • Huk-Yuen Law
    • 1
  • Yuh-Chyn Leu
    • 3
  • Wee Tiong Seah
    • 4
  • Ngai-Ying Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Chinese University of Hong KongSha Tin N.T.China
  2. 2.School of EducationRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Information EducationNational Taipei University of EducationTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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