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China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

author:Shijin Akino

China's secondary school mathematics education has long focused on mechanical memorization and skill practice, and its outstanding performance in the important selection test of the high school entrance examination has left people with the impression that the mathematics level of Chinese middle school students is extraordinary.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

However, this is not the case, and a closer look reveals that there are some problems with mathematics education in China, which is why we do not perform as well as other countries and regions in mathematics research.

Mathematics education in Chinese secondary schools focuses too much on form and ignores the elements of thinking. In an exam-driven situation, students focus only on memorizing formulas and formulas, practicing problems mechanically, and ignoring the essence of mathematics as a mental activity.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

Mathematics requires understanding concepts, grasping logical relationships, and reasoning and deriving. However, this is where the teaching of mathematics in Chinese secondary schools is relatively weak. As a result, many students are able to "pass" in exams, but they are poor in terms of practical application and innovation.

Chinese middle school mathematics textbooks focus too much on theory and neglect application. Textbooks usually provide practice questions immediately after explaining a theorem or formula, but do not give students the opportunity to think about it and show the context in which knowledge can be used.

At the same time, textbooks in Western countries will introduce the historical background of theorems and introduce concepts from practical problems, which will help students deepen their understanding and stimulate their thinking skills.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

There is a lack of systematization in the teaching of mathematics in Chinese secondary schools. Textbooks emphasize "profundity", but often ignore the logical relationship of mathematical knowledge. For example, in the teaching of calculus, the concept of derivatives is directly explained and the basics of function limits are omitted.

As a result, many students are unable to connect theoretical knowledge and just collect it as scattered knowledge points. On the contrary, in Western countries, every small link is systematically organized to help students develop a systematic sense of the entire body of knowledge.

There is a lack of interdisciplinary thinking in Chinese secondary schools. Mathematics is a subject that is closely related to other sciences and social sciences. However, traditional Chinese secondary education tends to focus only on the teaching of a single subject, ignoring the cross-integration between disciplines.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

In contrast, Western countries are committed to cultivating students' analytical and innovative skills, designing curriculum programs that involve the interaction of different disciplines. This practice is more conducive to stimulating students' interest and inspiration in learning.

The score-oriented approach to the college entrance examination has led Chinese middle schools to focus too much on crash and scores, and ignore solid knowledge internalization. This makes it difficult for students to develop the right learning attitude and efficient learning methods, which lays a hidden danger for their future further study and research.

The secret to the success of many successful foreign mathematicians lies in the habit of diligence they have cultivated since childhood, and this requires a pleasant and relaxed learning environment to lay the foundation.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

While pursuing high scores and test-taking, Chinese secondary school mathematics education also needs to pay attention to cultivating students' thinking ability, application ability and innovation ability. From the perspective of education, we should think about how to improve the teaching of mathematics and make it more focused on cultivating students' mathematical thinking and practical problem-solving ability.

Teachers can foster creativity and teamwork by introducing heuristic teaching methods that provide challenging questions and open-ended tasks that encourage students to explore and collaborate.

The compilation of textbooks also needs to pay more attention to the combination of theory and application, and provide more examples and scenario analysis to help students understand the practical application and significance of mathematics.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

At the same time, mathematics education should also encourage cross-learning between disciplines, and cultivate students' comprehensive thinking and interdisciplinary ability. For example, the combination of mathematics with science, engineering, economics, and other disciplines can give students a better understanding of the application of mathematics in practical fields.

The evaluation system also needs to be reformed accordingly. In addition to paying attention to students' scores and grades, we should pay more attention to the cultivation of students' comprehensive quality and ability. This can be achieved through the introduction of project-based learning, comprehensive evaluation, and individualized tutoring, so as to provide students with a broader space for development and more learning opportunities.

While pursuing test-taking results, China's secondary mathematics education should also focus on cultivating students' mathematical thinking, application ability and innovation ability.

China is better at math than the West in middle school, why is it that the higher you go, the worse you are?

By reforming teaching methods, textbook compilation and evaluation systems, we can provide students with more meaningful and high-quality mathematics education, cultivate more creative and innovative mathematical talents, and make greater contributions to the country's mathematical research and development.

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