Fan, Lianghuo and Zhu, Yan
Representation of problem-solving procedures: a comparative look at China, Singapore, and US mathematics textbooks
Educational Studies in Mathematics, 66, (1), . (doi:10.1007/s10649-006-9069-6).
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This study examined how selected school mathematics textbooks in China, Singapore, and USA at the lower secondary grade level represent problem-solving procedures. The analysis of problem-solving procedures was carried out in two layers – general strategies, which adopted Pólya’s four-stage problem-solving model, and specific strategies, which consisted of 17 different problem-solving heuristics such as ‘acting it out,’ ‘looking for a pattern,’ ‘working backwards,’ etc. Both similarities and differences in the representation of problem-solving procedures in the textbooks across the three countries were revealed and compared. The possible reasons for the similarities and especially for the differences were explored. Suggestions about how to improve the representation of problem-solving in mathematics textbooks were provided at the end of the study
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