Ka Wai Lui , Leung Frederick Koon Shing
DOI: JANT Vol.15(No.3) 209-228, 2011
Many studies such as Pepin (1999a; 1999b), Kaiser (2002), and Park & Leung (2006) revealed that there is a strong dependence of mathematics teaching on cultural traditions in different countries. This study was set up as a detailed comparison between the intended curricula in Berlin and Hong Kong to explore how cultural tradition influenced the intended curriculum. In this study, the intended curriculum is what the (local, state or national) curriculum developers stipulate in the official documents. The German educational system is influenced by the curriculum tradition called Didaktik. Didaktik is a tradition about teaching and learning. Since 16th century, Didaktik has been the most important tool for planning, enacting, and thinking about teaching in most of northern and central Europe (Westbury, 1998). On the other hand, the education system in Hong Kong is influenced by both the Anglo-Saxon curriculum tradition and the Confucian heritage culture (CHC). It was found in this study that, although many studies revealed that there is a strong dependence on cultural traditions of mathematics teaching in different countries, other factors such as social factors or the education system also played an important part in shaping the intended mathematics curriculum. So a simplistic view of dependence of the curriculum on cultural traditions is not warranted. The formation of the curriculum is a much more complicated process encompassing various factors including needs of society, advancement of technology, and government policies at different Levels.