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Math Prof Conducts Research at Seoul International Christian Academy in Korea

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Tuesday September 1, 2015

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

“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,” explains, the College of Arts and Sciences 2013 Emerging Scholar of the Year.

Dr. Lee interviewed North Korean mathematics teachers for his research. He was also interviewed by the Institute of Science Education for the Gifted and Talented in Yonsei University, a government funded institution that focuses on mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. The Institute’s gifted students are selected from elementary and middle schools and are taught by Yonsei University professors.

“I interviewed three North Korean mathematics teachers who taught in a secondary school in North Korea. Each session lasted approximately three 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 questions about the mathematics education in U.S. schools, as well as to describe what it means to be “good” in mathematics."

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, Applied Mathematics from Rutgers University, and B.S. double major in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from University of Technology, Sydney.

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