Ka-Luen Cheung^{*} and Thomas Au

Department of Mathematics

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

klcheung@math.cuhk.edu.hk and thomasau@cuhk.edu.hk

**Abstract : ** We will talk about issues
arising from the development of a mathematics enrichment programme
for high school talents in Hong Kong. The process of identifying
mathematics talented students, the design of the curriculum and
the organization of learning activities for such students towards
the development of their talents and interests will be discussed.

Huk-Yuen Law

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

The Chinese University
of Hong Kong

Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

hylaw@cuhk.edu.hk

**Abstract : ** This talk reports on the
investigation of how the pre-service teachers learn the students'
incomplete understanding of the concepts of limits through the
mathematical discourse during which they have attempted to share,
to elaborate and to justify their own ideas while discussing the
underlying concepts behind the solution procedures of a limit
problem. Three students (one sixth Former and two fifth Formers)
and two pre-service teachers participated in the study. The
episodes of their dialogues were videotaped. Excerpts of the
videotape data show a plausible fusion of horizons between the
thinking of the students and that of the pre-service teachers
while tackling a limit problem.

- Do We Assess Before We Educate?

Hing-Sun Luk

Department of Mathematics

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

hsluk@math.cuhk.edu.hk

**Abstract : ** Mathematics is apparently
a performers' subject. Have we emphasized too much its
competitive spirit? While we hear much publicity about attracting
and admitting the best students into universities, we also hear
ready laments over the less able students. How are we to start
from where our students are?

Ping-Jung Hsiang Tintera

Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas, 78412, USA

ptintera@falcon.tamucc.edu

George Tintera^{*}

Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas, 78412, USA

tintera@falcon.tamucc.edu

**Abstract : ** Many researches have
found that age, ethnicity, gender, major, learning style and math
self-efficacy are some of the major factors in learning
mathematics. Different major and age groups of students have
different level of understanding of mathematics. Their future
career was decided by those variables.

It is very important for math educators to know how different learning style, cultural background, ethnicity, and math self-efficacy influence students' interests and their future careers. Many researches have shown that personal self-efficacy, past experiences, gender and ethnicity differences of expectations particularly for non-traditional careers can be used to predict individual's future behavior (Hackett, Betz, Casas, and Rocha-Singh, 1992).

This paper reports the results of a study of 198 students in Taiwan. The study investigates whether academic variables (GPA, math classes taken) are related to math self-efficacy, affinity to study of mathematics and learning style. We did find significant relationships among these variables. This can be put into the context of the reputation of Asian students as doing well in comparison with students from other part of the world in grade level achievements and in math and science competitions. This is documented in research papers and the public press. However, we find a lack of research papers about the learning of these students. In particular, to contribute to the research, we report variation among students in all variables. The Taiwanese students, despite coming from a relatively small population have variety worth acknowledgement by math educators.

Ngai-Ying Wong

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

nywong@cuhk.edu.hk

**Abstract : ** The outcomes of mathematics learning,
students' conceptions of mathematics in particularly, are
inevitably influenced by the lived space of mathematics the
students situate. Previous research reveals that the lived space
of mathematics learning in Hong Kong is relatively restricted,
arriving at a narrow conception of mathematics among the students.
A RGC (Research Grant Council of Hong Kong) competitive earmarked
research was conducted among 400 Secondary One students from ten
schools, aiming at broadening students' conceptions of mathematics
by the systematic introduction of variations. The schools were
provided with non-routine problems in their normal mathematics
class for one academic year. Their attitudes toward mathematics,
their conception of mathematics, and their problem-solving
performance were measured both in the beginning and at the end of
the year. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that their
problem-solving performance was generally enhanced and their
conceptions of mathematics changed. The effect depended on the
level of use of the non-routine problems and the academic
standards of the students.

Wu Kang

Department of Mathematics

Shenzhen University P.R. China

kangwu@163.net

**Abstract : ** Mathematics is an
important discipline. Mathematics education draws attention of
educators from all over the world. The findings of the differences
of mathematics achievements between American students and students
of other countries were reported. The results showed that Asian
students always outperformed their American counterparts
(Stevenson, Lee, Stigler,1986; Chen, Uttal, 1988; Cai & Silver,
1993). Cross-national studies of mathematics education in China
and the U.S were under conduct since 1980 ( Cai, 1997; Cai &
Silver, 1993; Stevenson, Chen, & Lee, 1993; Stevenson & Lee,
1990; Stevenson & Stigler, 1992; Stigler, Lee, Lucker, &
Stevenson, 1982; Stigler, Lee, & Stevenson, 1987, 1991; Stigler,
& Perry, 1988; Uttal, Lummis, & Stevenson, 1988). These studies
investigated a variety of factors related to student's
achievements in mathematics, including effects of society,
culture, student, and school characteristics. As to the factor of
school characteristics, the similarities and differences of
teachers and teaching between two countries were discussed, which
meant researchers have already realized the role of teacher
characteristics in mathematics education. Meanwhile, teachers'
professionalism has been a focus in the field of teacher education
since 1980's. Previous studies (Berliner, 1986; Bereiter &
Scadalia, 1993; Arlin, 1993; Sternberg, 1995. ) showed that
professional teachers' typical character is pedagogical expertise.

Teachers' professional knowledge of mathematics is a critical topic among mathematics education studies. And apparently, cross-national study is now an effective way to study issues of mathematics education. The purpose of this study is to compare the professional knowledge of mathematics teachers in elementary school in China and the United States. The focus of this study was four-fold:

- To find out the similarities and differences of professional
knowledge of mathematics teachers between two nations.
- To explore the factors that lead to the similarities and
differences.
- To explore the relationship between the teachers'
professional knowledge and their teaching activities.
- To explore the effects of teaching style on the students'
mathematics achievement by comparing teachers' classroom
activities between two countries.

File translated from T

On 08 Dec 2004, 11:39.