© 2006

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

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

About the editors

Frederick Leung is a professor of mathematics education at The University of Hong Kong, specializing in international comparison of curriculum, and the relationship between culture and mathematics teaching and learning

Klaus-D. Graf is a professor of computer science at Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, specializing in applications in education and society

Francis Lopez-Real is a professor of mathematics education at The University of Hong Kong, specializing in problem-solving and dynamic geometry

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions-A Comparative Study of East Asia and the West
  • Book Subtitle The 13th ICMI Study
  • Editors Frederick Koon-Shing Leung
    Klaus-D. Graf
    Francis J. Lopez-Real
  • Series Title New ICMI Study Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-29722-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4419-3996-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-387-29723-1
  • Series ISSN 1387-6872
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 598
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Mathematics Education
    Sociology of Education
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site