Math Perceptions of Taiwanese and American children Essay

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Article Critique

The objective of this article critique is to review and evaluate several empirical studies which have examined mathematics perception cross-culturally. The main study that focuses on examining mathematics perception cross-culturally is a study that was done in 2004 by Dr. Yea-Ling Tsao. In this study, researchers proved that Taiwanese students consistently score higher in cross-national studies of achievement than American students. Several other studies were done that also support this theory. Therefore, the main purpose of this article critique is to evaluate Tsao’s study in order to properly assess both the validity of Tsao’s design and the inferences drawn from the study. This critique will also show that, while
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The researcher’s main concern was to investigate differences in math perception between those students scoring highly versus those students scoring poorly on national exams. The researcher thought that the solution would be due to cross-cultural differences in achievement.
     For this particular study, a survey including 39 closed questions (developed by Alan Schoenfeld in 1989) was used. All items on the survey were in the form of a seven point rating scale, with 1 being “strongly agree” and 7 being “strongly disagree”. The questionnaire was determined to be extremely consistent with an alpha of 0.8468. The survey contained questions associated to student’s perception of what mathematics is and how to do well in it, what mathematics solutions should be, how math problems can be solved, how mathematics is learned, and student motivation. For the first 33 questions, the students were asked to rate them on the seven point scale described above. The last six questions on the survey dealt with grades, gender, and perception of the children’s parent’s attitudes towards mathematics. The researcher also used a two-tail t-test to compare the mathematical perceptions of Chinese and American students. The average of each cateogry in the survey was also compared. As stated above, there were six main categories being compared: what