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

The 13th ICMI Study

  • Frederick K. S. Leung
  • Klaus-D. Graf
  • Francis J. Lopez-Real

Part of the New ICMI Study Series book series (NISS, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions: A Comparative Study of East Asia and the West

  3. Research on Affect in Mathematics Education: A Reconceptualisation

  4. Context of Mathematical Education

  5. Curriculum

  6. Teaching and Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 285-289
    2. Johanna Neubrand
      Pages 291-318
    3. Gabriele Kaiser, Keiko Hino, Christine Knipping
      Pages 319-351
    4. David Clarke, Yoshinori Shimizu, Soledad A. Ulep, Florenda L. Gallos, Godfrey Sethole, Jill Adler et al.
      Pages 353-380
    5. Klaus-D. Graf, Seiji Moriya
      Pages 415-425
  7. Values and Beliefs

  8. Outlook and Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 549-552
    2. Valeriy Alekseev, Bill Barton, Gelsa Knijnik
      Pages 567-580
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 589-597

About this book


In recent years there has been an upsurge of interest concerning international comparisons of mathematics education, stimulated in part by large-scale studies such as TIMSS and PISA. However, many educators have felt that the analysis of such comparisons requires a deep understanding of the underlying cultural and social factors involved, and this perspective led to the 13th ICMI Study Conference being convened to consider the issues. Because of the impossible complexity of trying to cover all different cultural traditions worldwide it was decided to focus on two significant traditions, broadly speaking East Asia and the West. This important volume is the outcome of the ICMI Study.

The volume covers a very wide field including the contexts of mathematics education, the curriculum, teaching and learning, and teachers’ values and beliefs. Within these broad parameters some of the particular cross-cultural issues that are discussed include intuition and logical reasoning, influences of Confucianism and Ancient Greek traditions, basic skills and process abilities, learners’ perspectives, assessment practices, text books and ICT multimedia.

Throughout the book emphasis is placed on uncovering and understanding differences and similarities, not just between these two major traditions but within the cultures themselves. Simplistic analyses or solutions are avoided and the authors demonstrate a cultural sensitivity that results in a collaborative, rather than competitive, spirit evident in the comparisons that are made. Much of the focus is on learning together, as much from our failures as our successes. The contributing authors are highly experienced and eminent members of the mathematics education community and together they have provided us with a book that is an invaluable source of information, discussion, reflection and insight. Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions will be of special interest to mathematics teachers, teacher educators, researchers, education administrators, curriculum developers, and student teachers.


Arithmetic Identity PISA calculus communication education function information integration mathematics mathematics education

Editors and affiliations

  • Frederick K. S. Leung
    • 1
  • Klaus-D. Graf
    • 2
  • Francis J. Lopez-Real
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Hong KongChina
  2. 2.Freie UniversitaetGermany

Bibliographic information