pp. 3351-3359 | Article Number: iejme.2016.274
Published Online: November 19, 2016
Article Views: 356 | Article Download: 309
This paper focusing on the complex situation of the Italian multiculturalism and trying to reply to why Asian children mathematically outperform students from other countries, discusses from the epistemological point of view, Chinese children’s skills before to start their formal education in Italian educational school context. A review of the literature, comparing pre-schoolers competences of Asian and Western students, reveals two important influenced factors: linguistic and parental stimuli. In particular many researchers showed that the structure of the Chinese language provides in children a head start in basic math skills, for example to discover, since preschool activities, a pre-algebraic structures of writing. An example with numbers is shown in the paper.
Other studies also show that Asian parents, compared to the Western cultures ones, tend to promote in a strong way the development of good basic mathematics skills and a stronger epistemological discipline foundation.
A general framework on these two important aspects for the education context is presented with the aim to help teacher and researchers to better understand Chinese and Italian possible different cognitive styles in mathematics learning just from Preschool.
Keywords: Education, Multiculturalism, Preschool, Chinese and Italian students, Chinese written language
An, S., Kulm, G., & Wu, Z. (2004) The pedagogical content knowledge of middle school mathematics teachers in China and the U.S. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.145–172.
An, S. (2008). Outsiders’ view on Chinese mathematics education: A case study on US teachers’ teaching experience in China. Journal of Mathematics Education 1(1) 1– 27.
Baccaglini-Frank, A., & Bussi, M. G. B. (2016). Buone pratiche didattiche per prevenire falsi positivi nelle diagnosi di discalculia: il progetto PerContare. arXiv preprint arXiv:1602.03365.
Bartolini Bussi, M.G., Martignone, F. (2013). Cultural issues in the communication of research on Mathematics Education. For the Learning of Mathematics, Vol. 33, pp. 2-8.
Bartolini Bussi M.G., Di Paola, B., Martignone, F., Mellone, M., Ramploud, A., (2016). An educational experience of cultural transposition in primary school: problems with variation, Proc. of PME 40.
Battaglia, O.R. and Di Paola, B. (2015) A Quantitative Method to Analyse an Open Answer Questionnaire: A Case Study about the Boltzmann Factor. GIREP-MPTL 2014 Tech- ing/Learning Physics: Integrating Research into Practice, University of Palermo, 7-12 July 2014
Battaglia, O. R., Di Paola, B., & Fazio, C. (2016). A New Approach to Investigate Students’ Behavior by Using Cluster Analysis as an Unsupervised Methodology in the Field of Education. Applied Mathematics, 7(15), 1649. http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1142
Bishop, A. J. (1988a) Mathematical Enculturation: A Cultural Perspective on Mathematics Education. Dodrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publisher.
Bishop, A. J. (1988b) Mathematics education in a cultural context. Educational Studies in Mathematics 19/2, 179-191.
Cai, J., & Hwang, S. (2002). Generalized and generative thinking in US and Chinese students’ mathematical problem solving and problem posing. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 21(4), 401-421.
Cai, J., & Silver, E. A. (1995). Solution processes and interpretations of solutions in solving a division-with-remainder story problem: Do Chinese and US students have similar difficulties?. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 26(5), 491-497.
Campbell, S. B. (1995). Behavior problems in preschool children: A review of recent research. Journal of child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36(1), 113-149.
Cao, Z. & Bishop, A. (2002, Month). Chinese students’ approaches to learning of mathematics. Presented at ICMI Comparative Study Conference, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
César, M., & Favilli, F. (2005). Diversity seen through teachers’ eyes: discourses about multicultural classes. In Proceedings of the fourth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 1153-1164).
Chen, C., & Stevenson, H. W. (1995). Motivation and mathematics achievement: A comparative study of Asian-American, Caucasian-American, and East Asian high school students. Child Development, 66, 1215-1234.
Di Paola, B. (2015). Can we learn from “outside”? A dialogue with a Chinese teacher: the “two basics” as a meaningful approach to mathematics teaching. Proc. CIEAEM 67, 579 - 585
Di Paola, B., Battaglia, O. R., & Fazio, C. (2016). Non-hierarchical clustering as a method to analyse an open-ended questionnaire on algebraic thinking. South African Journal of Education, 36(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1142
Di Paola, B., & Spagnolo, F. (2009). Argumentation and Proving in Multicultural Classes: A didactical experience with Chinese and Italian students. Journal of Mathematics Education, 2(1), 1-14.
Di Paola, B., & Spagnolo, F. (2010). European and Chinese cognitive styles and their impact on teaching/learning Mathematics. Journal of Mathematics Education, 3(2), 139-153.
Dowker, A., Bala, S., & Lloyd, D. (2008). Linguistic influences on mathematical development: How important is the transparency of the counting system? Philosophical Psychology, 21, 523.
Favilli, F., Maffei, L., & Peroni, R. (2013). Teaching and Learning Mathematics in a Non-Native Language: Introduction of the CLIL Methodology in Italy. Online Submission, 3(6), 374-380.
Fazio, C., Di Paola, B. and Guastella, I. (2012). Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Percep- tions of the Processes of Modeling: A Case Study. Physical Review Special Topics—Physics Education Research, 8, Article ID: 010110. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevstper.8.010110
Gerofsky, P. R. (2015). Why Asian Preschool Children Mathematically Outperform Preschool Children from Other Countries. Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal, 3 (1).
Haney, M., & Hill, J. (2004). Relationships between parent‐teaching activities and emergent literacy in preschool children. Early Child Development and Care, 174(3), 215-228.
Hofstede G. (1980) Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values, Beverly Hills: Sage.
Hsu, F.L.K. (1981) Americans & Chinese: Passage to difference (3rd Ed.). Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.
Huang, R., & Bao, J. (2006). Towards a model for teacher professional development in China: Introducing Keli. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 9(3), 279-298.
Hui C.H., Triandis H. (1986) Individualism and collectivism: A study of cross-cultural researches. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psycology. 17, 225-248.
Huntsinger, C. S., Jose, P. E., Liaw, F., & Ching, W. (1997). Cultural differences in early mathematics learning: A comparison of Euro-American, Chinese-American, and Taiwan-Chinese families. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 21, 371-388.
Ismu, Quaderni (2016). La scuola multiculturale nei contesti locali. Rapporto nazionale A.S. 2014/2015. ISBN 9788864471594.
Jordan, K. E., & Baker, J. (2011). Multisensory information boosts numerical matching abilities in young children. Developmental Science, 14, 205-213.
Leung, F. K. S. (2001). In search of an East Asian identity in mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics 47, 35-51.
Leung, F.K.S., (2002a), Behind the High Achievement of East Asian Students, Educational Research and Evaluation, 8(1):87-108.
Leung, F.K.S. and Park, K.M., (2002b), Competent Students, Competent T eachers?, International Journal of Educational Research, 37(2):113-129.
Mellone, M. & Ramploud, A. (2015). Additive structure: an educational experience of cultural transposition. In Sun X., Kaur B., Novotná N. (eds.), Proc. of ICMI Study 23.
Miller, K.F, Major, S. M., Shu, H., & Zhang, H. (2000). Ordinal knowledge: Number names and number concepts in Chinese and English. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54, 129-140.
Miura, I. T., Okamoto, Y., Kim, C. C., & Chang, C. (1994). Comparisons of children's cognitive representation of number: China, France, Japan, Korea, Sweden, and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 17, 401-411.
Needham, J. (1981). Science in traditional China: a comparative perspective. Chinese University Press.
Ng, S. N., & Rao, N. (2010). Chinese number words, culture, and mathematics learning. Review of Educational Research, 80, 180-206.
OECD (2013) Education at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Ongini V., Santagati M. (eds.) (2015) Alunni con cittadinanza non italiana. Tra difficoltà e successi. Rapporto nazionale a.s. 2013/14. Milano: Fondazione ISMU.
Paik, J. H., van Gelderen, L., Gonzales, M., de Jong, P.,F., & Hayes, M. (2011). Cultural differences in early math skills among U.S., Taiwanese, Dutch, and Peruvian preschoolers. International Journal of Early Years Education, 19, 133-143.
Perry, M. (2000). Explanations of mathematical concepts in Japanese, Chinese, and U.S. first- and fifth-grade classrooms. Cognition and Instruction, 18, 181- 207.
Ramploud, A., & Di Paola, B. (2013). Taking a look at Chinese pedagogy in shuxue [mathematics]: a dialogue between cultures to approach arithmetic at first and second Italian primary classes. In Proceedings Eighth Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME 8).
Siegler, R. S., & Mu, Y. (2008). Chinese children excel on novel mathematics problems even before elementary school. Psychological Science, 19, 759- 763.
Spagnolo, F., & Di Paola, B. (2010). European and chinese cognitive styles and their impact on teaching mathematics. Springer, Studies in Computational Intelligence, 277, pp. 1-267
Wang T., Murphy J. (2004). An Examination of Coherence in a Chinese Mathematics Classroom. In: Fan L., Wong N.-Y., Cai J., Li S. eds. (2004). How Chinese Learn Mathematics. Hackensack & London: World Scientific