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Characteristics of Chinese high-quality mathematics lessons from a lesson structure perspective

Abstract

In this study we aimed to capture the characteristics of Chinese high-quality lessons from a lesson structure perspective, specifically addressing the elements of teaching activity and their sequence. Sixteen videotaped middle school mathematics lessons were selected from 224 daily lessons collected from urban districts in five cities located in the east, north, west, south, and center of China, approved by three independent parties (based on the scores of an instruction quality assessment and ratings by two experts). We found the following five common features among most mathematics lessons: (a) most lessons began with a review; (b) pure learning of mathematical knowledge was emphasized; (c) recurrent teaching activities related to mathematics problems ran throughout the lesson; (d) highlighting and summarizing important points during the lesson and summarizing the entire lesson at the end of the class were frequently used; and (e) teaching activities were dense and large in volume. The research findings paint a broad picture of high quality instruction (deepening our understanding of high-quality teaching in different cultures) and provide multiple choices for teachers.

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Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the Foundation of Social Science administrated by Chongqing Federation of Social Science, grant number 2019BS088 and supported by the foundation administrated by Chinese National Office for Education Science Planning, grant number GOA107015. We would like to sincerely thank the participant teachers for their invaluable support for the projects. Our gratitude also goes to the reviewers who helped to improve the quality of the manuscript considerably.

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Li, X., Zhang, S. & Cao, Y. Characteristics of Chinese high-quality mathematics lessons from a lesson structure perspective. ZDM Mathematics Education (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-022-01365-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-022-01365-3

Keywords

  • Classroom teaching
  • High-quality mathematics lessons
  • Instructional quality
  • Lesson structure