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

  • Zhao Da-Cheng 
  • Joanne Mulligan
  • Michael Mitchelmore
Part of the New ICMI Study Series book series (NISS, volume 9)

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Australian Education Council, 1991, A National Statement of Mathematics for Australian Schools. Author, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Council for Educational Research, 1999, Raising Australian Standards in Mathematics and Science: Insights from TIMSS. Author, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  3. Black, P., & Wiliam, D., 1998, Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment, Phi Delta Kappan, 80:139–148.Google Scholar
  4. Cai, J.F., 2000, Mathematical Thinking involved in US and Chinese students’ Solving Process-constrained and Process-open Problems, Mathematics Thinking and Learning, 2:209–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cao, F.Y., 1996, Collected Works on Reform in Primary School Mathematics Education. The People’s Education Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  6. Chinese Ministry of Education, 2000a. National Mathematics Curriculum Standards for Nine-year Compulsory Education. Beijing Normal University Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  7. Chinese Ministry of Education, 2000b, The Mathematics Syllabus for Primary Schools for Nine-year Compulsory Education (revised edition). The People’s Education Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  8. Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, 2000, Numeracy, a Priority for all: Challenges for Australian schools, Author, Canberra.Google Scholar
  9. Lapointe, A.E., Mead, N.A., and Askew, J.M., 1992, Learning Mathematics. Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  10. Leder, G.C., eds., 1992, Assessment and Learning of Mathematics. Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  11. Leung, F.K.S., 1995, The Mathematics Classroom in Beijing, Hong Kong and London, Educational Studies in Mathematics, 29:297–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leung, F.K.S., 2001, In Search of An East Asian Identity in Mathematics Education, Educational Studies in Mathematics, 47:35–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lindquist, M., 2001, NAEP, TIMSS, and PSSM: Entangled Influences, School Science and Mathematics, 101:289–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Little, A., and Wolf, A., eds., 1996, Assessment in Transition: Learning, Monitoring and Selection in International Perspective, Pergamon, Oxford.Google Scholar
  15. Lokan, J., and Doig, B., eds., 1997, Learning from Children: Mathematics from a Classroom Perspective. Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  16. Lokan, J., Ford, P., and Greenwood, L., 1997, Maths and Science on the Line: Australian Middle Primary Students’ Performance in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study. Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  17. Ma, L.P., 1999, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, N.J.Google Scholar
  18. Mullis, I., Mattin, M., Beaton, A., Gonzalez, E., Kelly, D., and Smith, T., 1997, Mathematics Achievement in the Primary School Years: IEA’s Third International Mathematics and Science Study. Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and educational Policy, Boston College, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  19. Mullis, I., Martin, M., Gonzalez, E., Garden, R., O’Connor, K., Chrostowski, S., and Smith, T., 2000, TIMSS 1999: International Mathematics Reports. Findings from IEA’s repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade. Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy, Boston College, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  20. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Author, Reston, VA.Google Scholar
  21. New South Wales Department of Education, 1989, Mathematics K-6. Author, Sydney.Google Scholar
  22. Robitaille, D.F., and Garden, R.A., 1989, The IEA study of Mathematics II: Contexts and Outcomes of School Mathematics, Pergamon, Oxford.Google Scholar
  23. Stevenson, H.W., & Stigler, J.W., 1992, The Learning Gap: Why our Schools are Failing and What We can Learn from Japanese and Chinese education, Summit Books, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Stigler, J.W., and Hiebert, J., 1999, The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World’s Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom. Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Yin, R.K., 1994, Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage, London.Google Scholar
  26. Zhang, W.G., Wang, Y.L., Gu, A.Z., Mai, Y.C., and Li, J.H., 1994, Teaching Materials and Methods for Primary School Mathematics, The People’s Education Press, Beijing.Google Scholar
  27. Zhao, D.-C., 1999, For the Students’ Future: A Review of the Reform on High School Assessment in New South Wales, Studies in Foreign Education, 26(4):18–22.Google Scholar
  28. Zhao, D.-C., 2000, Establishing an Evaluation System Suitable for Quality Education: A Review of the Evaluation System of Primary School Pupils in Australia, Studies in Foreign Education, 27(1):39–43.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhao Da-Cheng 
    • 1
  • Joanne Mulligan
    • 1
  • Michael Mitchelmore
    • 1
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversityAustralia

Personalised recommendations