In search of an exemplary mathematics lesson in Hong Kong

Ida Ah Chee Mok has written an article that was published in ZDM on Thursday. The article is entitled In search of an exemplary mathematics lesson in Hong Kong: an algebra lesson on factorization of polynomials. The theoretical perspectives for this article are mathematical enculturation and the theory of learning through variation (variation theory). The study which is described in the article is part of the Learner’s Perspective Study (LPS). This study

(…) has engaged researchers in the investigation of mathematics classrooms of teachers in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.

Here is the article abstract:

The author here describes an exemplary grade-8 algebra lesson in Hong Kong, taken from the data of the learners’ perspective study. The analysis presents a juxtaposition of the researcher’s analysis of the lesson with the teacher and students’ perspectives of the lesson. The researcher’s perspective applies the theory of variation for which the main concern of learning is the discernment of the key aspects of the object of learning and that the description of variations delineates the potential of the learning space. Some persistent features were illustrated, namely, the teacher talk was a major input in teaching; the technique of variation was used in the design of the mathematical problems and the dimensions of variation created in the class interaction provided a potential learning environment; the teacher taking seriously the student factor into account in his philosophy and practice. From the standpoint of enculturation, the teacher’s influence as an enculturator is intentional, significant and influential.

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