The purpose of this study was to examine the differences between Finnish and Taiwanese textbooks for grades 7 to 9 on the topic of solving systems of linear equations (simultaneous equations). The specific textbooks examined were TK in Taiwan and FL in Finland.
Materials and methods:
The content analysis method was used to examine (a) the teaching sequence, (b) application types, (c) representation forms, (d) response types, and (e) level of cognitive demand.
The main difference between the Finnish and Taiwanese textbooks was that the Finnish textbooks introduced the topic of linear systems using a graphical approach, while the Taiwanese textbooks used an algebraic approach. Results also showed that the Taiwanese textbooks had fewer problems, but more challenging problems requiring a higher level of cognitive demand; the Finnish textbooks had more authentic application problems, and even more problems were displayed in visual forms. In addition, the Taiwanese textbooks had more open-ended problems, particularly problems asking students to explore or explain, whereas the Finnish textbooks did not have exploration problems. The topic of linear systems was also taught earlier in Taiwanese textbooks.
Implications of this study and suggestions for future studies are discussed.