I have since been quite carefully through the two articles, though I've by no means adequately modeled them using Warfield's tools of systems modeling. (I have constructed a couple of simple models - just enough to be confident that my assertions below, 'A' and 'B', are not incorrect or unfair).
(A): I'm afraid that Liping Ma's article is only a highly confused (and confusing) articulation of the confused structures of the mental models she has in her own mind in regard to the way children learn various topics in 'Elementary School Mathematics'. (I am NOT suggesting that her ideas of how children learn elementary math are incorrect - but only that in her article she has not communicated those ideas of hers clearly).
(B): I'm NOT claiming that Saul's article has an adequate and *potentially effective* system structure associated with it - or that his argument is as clear and convincing as it should be. The main thing of value in the article is Dr Saul's suggestion: > > "a synthesis of the positive aspects of both (the > Chinese system of education in elementary school math > and the US system) will achieve more than either of > (those systems) has achieved separately". > (Of course, as previously stated in an earlier post at this thread, Dr Saul has not shown any means by which such recommended synthesis may be accomplished, in practice on the ground. This is the standard in all conventional discussions of 'systems' where the discussant does not really understand systems.
The validity of my above assertions 'A' and 'B' above is not difficult to demonstrate - but I can do that in a document of readable length only by using what I call 'prose + structural graphics' (p+sg) - to seek to do this demonstration through 'pure prose' is likely to take some scores or even hundreds of pages! And furthermore, no one is likely to read those hundreds of pages, were I to seek to write them up...