The learning trajectories of similarity in mathematics curriculum: An epistemological analysis of Hong Kong secondary mathematics textbooks in the past half century

Qiaoping ZHANG, Ngai-Ying WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The topic of similarity plays an essential role in developing students’ deductive reasoning. However, knowing how to teach similarity and understanding how to incorporate deductive reasoning and proof along with plane geometry remain a challenge to both school curriculum creators and teachers. This study identified the problems and characteristics regarding how similarity is treated in secondary mathematics textbooks in Hong Kong in the past half century. The content analysis method was used to analyze six secondary mathematics textbook series published in different periods. From the epistemological perspective of the textbook contents, our analysis shows the historical context and learning trajectories of how similarity was treated in school curriculum. The natural axiomatic geometry paradigm is not emphasized too much at different stages and most of the textbooks did not provide formal proofs of similarity. The intuitive idea was gradually con-solidated into a formal definition of similarity. Furthermore, the way that rigorous geometric de-duction can be performed from intuitive concepts and experimental geometry to the idea of proofs and formal proofs is also discussed. Copyright © 2021 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2310
JournalMathematics
Volume9
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Citation

Zhang, Q.-P., & Wong, N.-Y. (2021). The learning trajectories of similarity in mathematics curriculum: An epistemological analysis of Hong Kong secondary mathematics textbooks in the past half century. Mathematics, 9(18). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/math9182310

Keywords

  • Similarity
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Secondary mathematics textbooks
  • Epistemological analysis

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