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Topic: [math-learn] Re: FCI and CCI in China #2
Replies: 2   Last Post: Feb 11, 2012 8:29 PM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
[math-learn] Re: FCI and CCI in China #2
Posted: Feb 11, 2012 6:26 PM
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Jerry Epstein (2012) in his MathLearn post "Re: FCI and CCI in China
#2" wrote [my insert at ". . . .[[insert]]. . . .":

". . . ..this past Fall semester the CCI was given to about 1000
students in Shanghai, China. They score clearly at about the same
level of gain as do the best students in the US (Michigan and three
other small groups). Chinese students of course sit in lectures,
often large lectures I think. But a lot of earlier work . . . . .
.[[see e.g. Treisman (1992)]]. . . . seems to show that the students
spend many more hours working in twos and threes on processing and
digesting on the material from the lectures, working in small groups
on problems, etc. and one speculates that this is central."

On the other hand in the abstract of my post "Re: FCI and CCI in
China #2" I wrote [bracketed by lines "HHHHHHH. . . .":

"Although Bao et al.(2009) measured only pretest scores (not
pre-to-posttest gains) for Chinese freshmen university students
enrolled in science/engineering major courses, they pointed out that
those students had taken "algebra-based courses with emphasis on
development of conceptual understanding and skills needed to solve
problems" for FIVE YEARS in grades 8-12, whereas the U.S. students
had taken at most ONE YEAR of physics.

That suggests that the Chinese K-12 math curriculum might also be
more intensive than that in the U.S. IF that's the case then it
might help to explain the relatively high CCI gains for non-IE
pedagogy, irrespective of possible student-organized out-of-class
interactive group work.

In order to compare Epstein's CCI results with the results of Bao et
al. (2009) it might be interesting to compare the PRETEST averages of
the Shanghai students with the PRETEST averages of U.S. students.

IF the Shanghai calculus students are similar to the Chinese physics
students in the Bao et al. (2009) study, then one might expect their
CCI PRETEST averages to be considerably higher than the CCI PRETEST
averages of U.S. students.

IF that's NOT the case then Epstein's explanation of higher gains by
Chinese students in a teacher-centered course due to a "Treisman
Effect" is bolstered.

Of course both the "Better Background" effect and the "Treisman
Effect" may be operating simultaneously.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References
which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Blog: <>
Academia: <>

REFERENCES [URL shortened by <> and accessed on 11 Feb 2012.]
Bao, L., T. Cai, K. Koenig, K. Fang, J. Han, J. Wang, Q. Liu, L.
Ding, L. Cui, Y. Luo, Y. Wang, L. Li, & N. Wu. 2009a. "Learning and
Scientific Reasoning: Comparisons of Chinese and U.S. students show
that content knowledge and reasoning skills diverge." Science
323(5914): 586 - 587, 30 January; online as a 184 kB pdf at
<>; supporting material is online as a 152 kB pdf
at <>. See also: (a) the longer report "Learning
of content knowledge and development of scientific reasoning ability:
A cross culture comparison" [Bao et al. (2009b)]; (b) the critique of
Bao et al. (2009a,b) by Hake (2012b).

Bao, L., K. Fang, T. Cai, J. Wang, L. Yang, L. Cui, J. Han, L. Ding,
& Y. Luo. 2009b. "Learning of content knowledge and development of
scientific reasoning ability: A cross culture comparison." Am. J.
Phys. 77(12): 1118-1123; online to subscribers at

Epstein, J. 2012. "Re: [math-learn] FCI and CCI in China #2" online
on the CLOSED! Math-Learn archives at <>. Post
of 10 Feb 10 9:24 pm (the insular Math Forum fails to specify the
time zone).

Hake, R.R. 2012a. "Re: FCI and CCI in China #2 online on the OPEN!
AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 22 Jan 2012
16:27:43-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the
complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and
are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a
provision for comments.

Hake , R.R. 2012b. "Bao et al.'s Comparison of Learning and
Scientific Reasoning in Chinese & U.S. Schools: Alternate Conclusions
and Recommendations," online as a 385 kB pdf at
<>. The abstract and link to the complete article
are being transmitted to various discussion lists and are also on my
blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for

Treisman, U. 1992 "Studying students studying calculus: A look at the
lives of minority mathematics students in college," College
Mathematics Journal 23(5): 362-372; online as a 1.5 MB pdf at

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