The purpose of this study is to compare the eighth-grade mathematics textbooks of Korea, Japan on the one hand, and those of the United States and England on the other, and to explore the implications for mathematics education in the East and the West. As a result, the dichotomy between the East and the West were set up with the sacrifice of the details. First, the textbook development and publication policies of the East are characterized as uniformity, and those of the West are diversity. Second, for the choice of content, the East and West can be represented by essential and discretionary respectively. Third, the physical appearance of Eastern textbooks is rather plain while that of the Western textbooks is colorful, Fourth, in terms of the characteristics of the content, the dichotomies between the East and the West are linear vs. spiral, content vs. context, formal abidance vs. metacognitive shift, and simple vs. realistic. Each of the Eastern and Western approaches has its own weak points as well as its strong points. For instance, textbooks In the West may help students realize how useful mathematics can be in their lives, but if the link between a mathematical concept and the corresponding real life situation is not made clear, sometimes students may not be able to completely grasp the mathematical concept. In turn, the Eastern textbooks may succeed In conveying ideas in an economical way, but they often fail to motivate students to follow the course. Therefore it is important to take a critical view of each approach. It is through a critical understanding of the differences between different cultures that we are able to learn from each other and to put the results of such comparative studies to better use in the future.
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