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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Chinese students have excelled in many international assessments of mathematics achievement (e.g. Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA] and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study [TIMSS]), thereby drawing great interest from researchers, educators, and policy makers inside and outside the Chinese community. This article draws upon three strands of research (developmental, instructional, and social-psychological) cutting across three different levels (societal/cultural [macro, nation], institutional [meso/micro, family, classroom], and individual [nano]) to examine the ingredients that have shaped the mathematics achievements of Chinese students. This article traces the early numerical development of Chinese children before considering learning and instruction in Chinese mathematics classrooms. Apart from exploring the broader sociocultural contexts in which the Chinese way of learning and teaching mathematics is rooted and supported, it also depicts a profile of Chinese students' achievements in mathematics against these backgrounds. Broadly, this article helps to understand Chinese students' mathematics achievement and its contexts.

Keywords: Chinese students, mathematics achievement, Chinese preschoolers, Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA], numerical development

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