Middle Path In Math Instruction / Edition 1

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What are the effective approaches of teaching and learning mathematics? How do teachers build on knowledge of students' thinking? What knowledge is needed for teachers to teach effectively? Shuhua An answers these questions by examining the differences between the pedagogical content knowledge of elementary and middle school mathematics teachers in the U.S. and China and investigates how these differences are revealed in their beliefs, planning, teaching methods, and knowledge of students' thinking. She reveals the current dilemmas in mathematics education in the U.S and China, traces the philosophical and historical development of mathematics education in both countries, and points out that cultural factors greatly contribute to the teaching and learning of mathematics. This book describes 10 teachers with different teaching styles and strategies in actual classrooms and analyzes their beliefs. Included are comparisons and contrasts of teachers' pedagogical content knowledge in four aspects of teaching: Building on student ideas in mathematics, Addressing student misconceptions, Engaging students in mathematics learning, Promoting student thinking about mathematics. Through analyzing essential components in the above four aspects within a cultural context, this book identifies eight missing components in teachers' knowledge base which are pertinent to pedagogical content knowledge and play an important role in effective teaching. The analysis of the missing components of teacher knowledge leads to a discussion of the reshaping of teacher knowledge and gives recommendations for enhancing pedagogical content knowledge and for seeking the middle path in mathematics instruction. For mathematics teachers, pre-service teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students at colleges of education, teacher educators, researchers, school administrators, and policymakers.

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Editorial Reviews

Reference and Research Book News
[the author]..compares the pedagogical content knowledge of elementary and middle school math teachers in the United States with that of their counterparts in China.
Journal For Research In Mathematics Education
[An] does make a convincing case that there are differences between the two countries in how teachers view the goals of teaching, what the focus should be in teaching mathematics, the importance of teachers' knowledge, and how to plan for instruction.
James W. Stigler
This wonderful book provides another glimpse into what teachers know and how that differs across cultures. The data are informative, and the examples are useful and compelling.
Alan Bishop
This book is a most important contribution to the growing literature about comparative studies in mathematics education....It is a truism that we all learn by contrasts, but the challenges for researchers is to determine the most appropriate aspects of mathematics education to contrast. Dr. An...successfully avoids the trap of trying to universalize the teaching of mathematics by recognizing the historical and cultural differences between the two countries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578860890
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Shuhua An is an assistant professor of Mathematics Education in the College of Education, California State University, Long Beach and a former teacher in Texas and China.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 1. Dilemmas in Mathematics Education: Opposite Directions Chapter 4 2. Philosophical and Historical Overview of Mathematics Education Chapter 5 3. Understanding Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Chapter 6 4. Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Mathematics Teaching Chapter 7 5. Teachers' Beliefs about Mathematics Teaching and Learning Chapter 8 6. What's Happening in the Classroom: Observations and Interviews Chapter 9 7. Approaches to Enhancing Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Chapter 10 Conclusion Chapter 11 References Chapter 12 About the Author

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