Comparative Case Study Essay

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A COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY: JAPAN’S & THE UNITED STATES’ MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM Introduction: This comparative case study will be discussing and analyzing the two countries of Japan and the United States. The main topic of this research study will be based on the question, ‘What is the mathematics curriculum in each country?’ Kim Marshall (2005) identified in her article “Let’s Clarify the Way We Use the Word ‘Curriculum’” seven different definitions for the word curriculum. These distinctly defined areas are: standards, frameworks for each grade level, grade-level learning expectations, classroom methods aligning to standards, commercial programs, teaching units, and finally classroom materials. Therefore, I will be sharing research on…show more content…
After a time, whole group student-led discussion begins. During this time students share different approaches and solutions (Takahashi, 2006, pg. 39). The teacher is meant to create an interdependent learning environment, with their focus being the clarification and acceptance of student-driven methods (Murata & Fuson, 2006, pg. 429-447). The teacher then highlights and summarizes the major points before assigning 2-4 problems as homework (Mastrull, 2002, pg. 5). These lessons are designed around three characteristics: Carefully selected word problems following the national curriculum and grade-level expectations, extensive discussion (Neriage), and an emphasis on blackboard use (Bansho) promoting note taking and creating a visual aid for the discussion (Takahashi, 2006, pg. 40-43). The textbooks found in the Japan are required to follow the National Curriculum. The Ministry of Education requires fewer topics, providing greater depth into each of the topics as the grades advance. The texts are slim and have little supplemental materials, with only a few practice problems (Woodward & Ono, 2004, pg.75). The Japanese mathematics curriculum is based on the idea of sustained time on fewer topics, each building over the year (Murata & Fuson, 2006, pg. 454). Furthermore, in Japan students slowly move towards complex levels of mathematics, such as algebra and geometry by the end…show more content…
Japan is just further along, with the United States slowly understanding the importance of student-led instruction, a national framework of standards in the form of the Common Core Curriculum. However, there are still areas that require attention and adjustment. There is no curriculum that is perfect for every single country, they need to decide which parts work best and find a way to incorporate into their own curriculum to meet their students

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