The TIMSS 1999 Video Study revealed that Japan had the lowest (of the seven participating countries) amount of real-life connections in the eighth grade mathematics classrooms, whereas the Netherlands had the highest amount of connections with real life. This article examines more closely how these ideas were actually implemented by teachers in these two countries.
One of my own articles have finally appeared in International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning. The article is entitled “Real-life Connections in Japan and the Netherlands: National Teaching Patterns and Cultural Beliefs“. The article is freely available online, and here is the abstract: