Chinese teaching and learning of mathematics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

2 Citations (Scopus)


Exam-driven rewards, educational resources and academic beliefs drive Chinese students’ high scores on international tests of mathematics but reduce their willingness to take risks, as shown in analyses of Chinese exams, curricula and classroom observations. As scoring high on Chinese government exams yields economic, social and political rewards for both students and their families, extensive family and school resources are allocated to improve student learning. Family members encourage their children to study hard and spend heavily on books and other educational resources. Chinese societies create challenging, national curricula with standardized textbooks and teacher training. Instruction is teacher-centered and focused on basic mathematics concepts and skills via refined lectures and repeated practice. Exposed to this instruction, Chinese students often understand abstract mathematics ideas, recognize routine problems, recall many suitable strategies and apply them successfully. However, this emphasis on mastery discourages Chinese students from taking risks and attempting non-routine problems. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese education models in a global age
EditorsChuing Prudence CHOU, Jonathan SPANGLER
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811003301
ISBN (Print)9789811003288
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Chiu, M. M. (2016). Chinese teaching and learning of mathematics. In C. P. Chou & J. Spangler (Eds.), Chinese education models in a global age (pp. 293-304). Singapore: Springer.


  • Educational resource
  • Chinese student
  • Mathematics achievement
  • Mathematics curriculum
  • Chinese teacher


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