Taiwanese-German Research Program on Cultural-Societal Influences on Mathematics Education

Exploring the Intercultural Validity of Mathematical Competence Structures by Contrasting the Educational Systems in Taiwan and Germany

Educational processes organized at an institutional level can be described by means of extended utilization-of-learning-opportunities models. However, the impact of determinants influenced by culture and society (e.g., learning culture, educational tradition, curricula) is hardly investigated in depth. Studies in a national context are restricted by an insufficient variance in these determinants and international large-scale studies are restricted by their designs that have to cover broad competence constructs. The Taiwanese-German research program TaiGer wants to address this desideratum of research with different projects investigating the effects of cultural-societal influenced factors on individual competence acquisition in mathematics. The Taiwanese and the German context as examples of an East Asian and a Western culture provide an ideal contrast by their very different cultural-societal frameworks. The projects will focus on investigating the invariance and variance of intra-individual relations of competence components with respect to the German and Taiwanese context. The studies make a contribution to the intercultural validity of competence models and to models of individual educational processes and their cultural-societal influenced determinants.


The TaiGer research program is coordinated by Aiso Heinze (IPN Kiel, Germany) and Kai-Lin Yang (NTNU Taipei, Taiwan). It was established in 2016 during a workshop in Taipei (Taiwan) which was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).



  1. Similarities and Differences of Kindergarten Teachers’ Beliefs, Knowledge, and Self-reported Early Mathematics Education Activities in Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland (Esther Brunner, Ching-Shu Chen, Hedwig Gasteiger)
  2. Primary School Students’ Competence in Length Estimation: Exploring the Intercultural Validity of an Estimation Competence Model by Contrasting the Educational Systems of Taiwan and Germany (Aiso Heinze, Jessica Hoth, Hsin-Mei Huang, Silke Ruwisch, Dana Farina Weiher)
  3. Exploring Mathematical Argumentation of Primary School Children: A Cultural Comparative Perspective between Germany and Taiwan (Peter Klöpping, Ana Kuzle, Pi-Jen Lin)
  4. Exploring the role of conceptual knowledge, task complexity, and affect in secondary school students' geometry proof and geometry calculation skills in two educational systems (Ying-Hao Cheng, Hui-Yu Hsu, Sarah Ottinger, Stefan Ufer, Markus Vogel)
  5. Study on Reading Comprehension, Affect and Modelling: A Cross-Cultural Comparison between Germany and Taiwan (Yu-Ping Chang, Janina Krawitz, Stanislaw Schukajlow, Kai-Lin Yang)
  6. Teacher noticing in Taiwan and Germany – What is the role of cultural norms regarding aspects of instructional quality? (Anika Dreher, Feng-Jui Hsieh, Anke Lindmeier, Ting-Ying Wang)
  7. The role of teacher professional knowledge for planning mathematics instruction: preservice mathematics teachers’ pedagogical reasoning on hypothetical learning trajectories (Anika Dreher, Aiso Heinze, Jessica Hoth, Hui-Yu Hsu, Anke Lindmeier, Ting-Ying Wang, Kai-Lin Yang)


Publications (for project-specific publications see the project homepages)

Dreher, A., & Heinze, A. (2018). Mathematikunterricht in westlichen und ostasiatischen Ländern – Wie können kulturelle Einflussfaktoren untersucht werden? Beiträge zum Mathematikunterricht 2018 (pp. 71-72). Münster: WTM-Verlag.

Heinze, A., & Yang, K.-L. (2017). How to Research Cultural-Societal Factors Influencing Mathematics Education? In B. Kaur, W. K. Ho, T. L. Toh, & B. H. Choy (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 1, p. 139). PME.

Heinze, A., & Yang, K.-L. (2017). Discussion Group: How to Research Cultural-Societal Factors Influencing Mathematics Education? Newsletter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, November 2017, 3-4.