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Can you teach in a normal way? examining Chinese and US curricula’s approach to teaching fraction division

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Title: Can you teach in a normal way? examining Chinese and US curricula’s approach to teaching fraction division
Author(s): Feil, Yingying C.
Director of Research: Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Ryan, Allison M.; Renee, Clift; Crockett, Michele
Department / Program: Educational Psychology
Discipline: Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Mathematics Education Cross-cultural Comparison Fraction Division
Abstract: This dissertation presents two studies designed to examine the topic of fraction division in selected Chinese and US curricula. By comparing the structure and content of the Chinese and Everyday Mathematics textbooks and teacher’s guides, Study 1 revealed many different features presented in the selected curricula. Major differences include the number of lessons on this topic, the algorithms introduced, the type of examples and exercises provided in the textbooks, and the teaching strategy suggested by the teacher’s guides. Study 2 examined whether a set of lessons that represented Chinese textbook features or a set of Everyday Mathematics-style lessons were more effective in promoting U.S. sixth-grade students’ understanding of fraction division algorithms and their ability to apply the algorithms to solve word problems. Results indicated that the participating U.S. students lacked understanding of mathematics concepts that are relevant to fraction division, and the participants did not effectively learn about fraction division from either the Chinese-style or Everyday Mathematics-style lessons. These studies suggest that to apply features of Chinese mathematic curricula to teach US students, it is important to take into account US students’ prior knowledge, learning experiences, and learning styles.
Issue Date: 2010-05-19
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16016
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Yingying C. Feil
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-19
Date Deposited: May 2010
 

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