Primary school arithmetic in Hong Kong: Shall we discard the procedural paradigm?

Chun Ip FUNG, Ah Chee Ida MOK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Arithmetic in the primary curriculum has a minimum of two roles, namely establishing proficiency in arithmetic and perceptual thinking as a foundation for the learning of algebra. An analysis of three popular series of Hong Kong primary mathematics textbooks was conducted to give a preliminary picture of how the current curriculum contributes in these roles. Conventions and algebraic properties are distinguished in this paper. A procedural paradigm with an emphasis on learning computational conventions instrumentally is displayed. In addition, conventions and algebraic properties are not adequately explained or explored, and the choice of operation priority is driven by computational convenience. Some potential problems are identified. A shift of curriculum focus towards the promotion of a conceptual understanding of algebra and proceptual thinking is proposed. Copyright © 1997 The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
JournalEducation Journal
Volume25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Fingerprint

primary school
Hong Kong
paradigm
curriculum
learning
textbook
promotion
mathematics

Citation

Fung, C.-I. & Mok, I. A.-C. (1997). Primary school arithmetic in Hong Kong: Shall we discard the procedural paradigm? Education Journal, 25(2), 63-80.

Keywords

  • Primary school arithmetic
  • Primary school curriculum