Dr. Lee researches Math Programs in South Korea and North Korea

Posted by Fernando.Arzola on Monday August 31, 2015

Dr. JungHang Lee, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, recently conducted research at the Seoul International Christian Academy (SICA), in Korea. He worked with Dr. KyongWon Lee (Principal) and Ms. Lauren Kim (Teacher in Mathematics) to develop teacher education programs.  He is also working with SICA to develop pre-service teacher internship program.

What new thing did you learn in your research?

“The main topic was math manipulatives and knowledge transfer in mathematics classrooms. While there are studies on the pros and cons of using math manipulatives, there are few researches on the effects of using manipulatives on math knowledge transfer. This research examines whether concrete and realistic math manipulatives facilitate knowledge transfer, the ability to apply learned knowledge to new or different situations more than abstract symbols do.”

Dr. Lee interviewed North Korean mathematics teachers for his research, as well as being interviewed by the Institute of Science Education for the Gifted and Talented in Yonsei University.

“I interviewed 3 North Korean mathematics teachers who taught in a secondary school in North Korea. Each session lasted approximately 3 hours, which I am converting into scripts. In addition to discussing their social, educational and family backgrounds, I also explored their pedagogical perspectives. During my interview, I was asked questiions about the mathematics education in U.S. schools, as well as, to describe what it means to be “good” in mathematics."

The Institute of Science Education for the Gifted and Talented in Yonsei University is a government funded institution which focuses on Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science. These gifted students are selected from elementary and middle schools and are taught by professors from Yonsei University.  

In addition to his research, Dr. Lee serves as an advisor for the Korean Student Association at Nyack College. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Columbia University, M.A. from Columbia University, M.S.in Applied Mathematics  from Rutgers University, and B.S. double major in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics  from University of Technology, Sydney. 

Dr. Lee received the 2013 Arts and Science Emerging Scholar of the Year.

For more information on these programs:

http://www.sicacademy.org/       http://web.yonsei.ac.kr/gifted/

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