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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - East-West (Exploring the Eastern and the Western Debate: the Case of Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Students’ Achievement - A Comparative Study between Germany and China)

East-West Report Summary

Project ID: 658303
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - East-West (Exploring the Eastern and the Western Debate: the Case of Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Students’ Achievement - A Comparative Study between Germany and China)

Reporting period: 2016-02-15 to 2018-02-14

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
The main issue addressed was to compare the characteristics and level of German and Chinese mathematics teachers’ professional competence and its impact on students’ mathematical learning gains. The main focus during the last two years laid on the comparison of mathematics teachers’ professional competence differentiated into the three competence areas (including MCK, MPCK and GPK).

Why is it important for society?
1). Understanding of the differences of mathematics achievement between Eastern and Western countries.
2). Suggestions to the reforms of pre-service and in-service mathematics teacher education concerning curriculum and (mathematics) teacher education policy.
3). Recommendations for the revision of mathematics curriculum and its consequences for teacher pre-service and in-service education.

What are the overall objectives?
1) How can the professional competence of mathematics teachers in China and Germany be described, how high is the competence in the different knowledge-based sub-domains and situated facets of teachers’ professional noticing and how are these competence facets connected?
2) Which kind of relations between students’ mathematical achievements and their learning gains during a one-year teaching period in both countries and their mathematics teachers’ professional competencies can be identified in China and Germany?
3) How do the Chinese and German societal and cultural contexts contribute to the characteristics of mathematics teachers’ professional competencies, and its connections with students’ mathematical learning gains?
4) From which changes can both educational systems benefit from each other? Which changes should be implemented in order to preserve the strengths of the own educational system and learn from the strengths of the other system?

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

1. Main work performed
The following main work has been performed:
1) February —May 2016, translation and development of evaluation instruments; translation and modification of the coding manual;
2) June—August 2016, adapting the video-based competence tests to China, development, modification and finalization of the instrument, piloting the instrument in China;
3) September 2016— January 2017, data collection in China (data from 203 teachers were collected);
4) February— May 2017, coding, data analysis and collection of students’ achievements;
5) June 2017— February 2018, data analysis and manuscript writing. Presentation of results to interested colleagues of the University of Hamburg and to a broader German audience with colleagues from other universities.

2. Overview of the results:
2.1 Theoretical comparison of (mathematics) teacher professional competence in China and Germany
Main similarities: conceptualizing of teacher competence as a multi-dimensional construct comprising various types of knowledge, teaching related skills, and beliefs;
Main differences: the Chinese frameworks include a wider range of teacher competences and emphasize more teaching-related competences in contrast to Western (German) frameworks.
2.2 Validating a German framework of mathematics teacher professional competence in China
The integrating of a qualitative and a quantitative approach of validity implies the possibility to validate the adapted framework and instruments (e.g. studying elemental validity and construct validity).
2.3 Similarities and differences of in-service mathematics teachers’ professional noticing
German teachers significantly performed better than Chinese teachers on professional noticing from a general pedagogical perspective, in contrast, Chinese teachers outperformed their German counterparts on professional noticing from a mathematics educational perspective.
2.4 Relationship between Chinese mathematics teachers’ professional knowledge and their professional noticing
A weak correlation between Chinese in-service mathematics teachers’ mathematics content knowledge (MCK) and their professional noticing was identified. A relatively stronger relation between mathematics teachers’ pedagogy-related knowledge (including GPK and MPCK), and their noticing was identified.

3. Exploitation and dissemination of results
3.1 Exploitation of results
1). The project contributes to the reform of pre-service and in-service (mathematics) teacher education curriculum and even (mathematics) teacher education policy.
2). The project accounts for the modification of mathematics curriculum reform in Germany and China.

3.2 Dissemination of results
Two means were used to disseminate the results:
1). National and international conferences:
• New International Perspectives on Future Teachers’ Professional Competencies, 21-23 September, 2017, University of Hamburg, Germany;
• The 41st Conference of the International Group for Psychology of Mathematics Education, 3-8 July 2017, Singapore.
2). Submission of journal articles:
• Professional noticing of mathematics teachers: A comparative study between Germany and China, submitted to International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, present status: accepted with minor revision;
• An Exploration of the Relationship between Chinese In-service Mathematics Teachers’ Knowledge and Professional Noticing, submitted to Teaching and Teacher Education, present status: under review;
• Measuring Chinese In-service Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Competence: Adopting and Validating a German Framework in China, submitted to Journal of Curriculum Studies, present status: under review.
3). Publication of book chapters:
• Kaiser G., Yang X. (2017) Reflections on Research Trends in International Comparative Studies in Mathematics Education. In J.W. Son, T. Watanabe, J.J. Lo (Eds.), What Matters? Research Trends in International Comparative

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

1. Progress beyond the state of the art
1) Identification of common core aspects of mathematics teacher competence within the Western and Eastern frameworks;
2) Reconstruction of societal and cultural aspects as main influencing factors on teachers’ professional noticing.
3) Provision of empirical evidence for the understanding of the relationships between teacher professional knowledge and teacher professional noticing.

2. More results to be expected
In future, we will explore the following aspects and expect results in these areas:
1) Relationships between Chinese mathematics teacher competence and students’ mathematical achievements.
2) Similarities and differences of mathematics teacher professional knowledge between China and Germany.
3) Similarities and differences of teachers’ professional knowledge and noticing between pre-service and in-service teachers in the two countries.

3. Potential impact
The project has the following implications:
1) The results of the project have the potential to modify pre-service and in-service mathematics teacher education programs.
2) The project can enhance the reform of teacher education policy.
3) The results of the project allow recommendation to the modification of the mathematics curriculum in Germany, China and other countries too.

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