Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States / Edition 1

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Overview

Chinese students typically outperform U.S. students on international comparisons of mathematics competency. Paradoxically, Chinese teachers receive far less education than U.S. teachers--11 to 12 years of schooling versus 16 to 18 years of schooling.

Studies of U.S. teacher knowledge often document insufficient subject matter knowledge in mathematics. But, they give few examples of the knowledge teachers need to support teaching, particularly the kind of teaching demanded by recent reforms in mathematics education.

This book describes the nature and development of the "profound understanding of fundamental mathematics" that elementary teachers need to become accomplished mathematics teachers, and suggests why such teaching knowledge is much more common in China than the United States, despite the fact that Chinese teachers have less formal education than their U.S. counterparts.

The studies described in this book suggest that Chinese teachers begin their teaching careers with a better understanding of elementary mathematics than that of most U.S. elementary teachers. Their understanding of the mathematics they teach and--equally important--of the ways that elementary mathematics can be presented to students, continues to grow throughout their professional lives.

Teaching conditions in the United States, unlike those in China, militate against the development of elementary teachers' mathematical knowledge and its organization for teaching. The concluding chapter of the book suggests changes in teacher preparation, teacher support, and mathematics education research that might allow teachers in the United States to attain profound understanding of fundamental mathematics.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Subtraction With Regrouping: Approaches to Teaching a Topic. Multidigit Number Multiplication: Dealing With Students' Mistakes. Generating Representations: Division by Fractions. Exploring New Knowledge: The Relationship Between Perimeter and Area. Teachers' Subject Matter Knowledge: Profound Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics. Profound Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics: When and How Is It Attained. Conclusion.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    Home Schooling Mom

    I found this book to be very enlightening on the subject of Math education and the differences in understanding of elementary math education between Asian, specifically China, and the US. She gives detailed examples of various elementary/basic math concepts that students must learn and discusses how the different teachers approached problems and understood the mathematical concepts. Frankly, I have had a college level class on math for elementary teachers which I found helpful in filling in the gaps of my own understanding of math and ways to teach it. However, I found the many detailed explanations given by the chinese teachers to be much better at connecting all the concepts and previous knowledge. I highly recommend this book to any US teachers whether in public/private schools or in home schools.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 27, 2009

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    Posted March 11, 2010

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    Posted March 21, 2012

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