Learning Mathematics in China and the United States

Cross-Cultural Insights into the Nature and Course of Preschool Mathematical Development

Authored by: Kevin F. Miller , Melissa Kelly , Xiaobin Zhou

Handbook of Mathematical Cognition

Print publication date:  December  2004
Online publication date:  August  2005

Print ISBN: 9781841694115
eBook ISBN: 9780203998045
Adobe ISBN: 9781135423667

10.4324/9780203998045.ch10

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Abstract

Compared to other educational topics, mathematics has an apparent universality that has made it a special focus of cross-national research on education and cognitive development. Unlike literacy, which is subserved by vastly different writing systems, the basic representational systems that underlie mathematics, from Arabic numerals to algebraic symbols, are in near-universal use throughout the world. Thus, it is not surprising that mathematics has been a major focus of large-scale studies that attempt to compare overall population levels of achievement (e.g., Beaton & Robitaille, 1999; Husén, 1967; Travers & Westbury, 1990).

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