Japanese and American Students' Differential Recognition Memory for Teachers' Statements During a Mathematics Lesson

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This study explored Japanese and American students' recognition memory for statements made during a videotaped mathematics lesson. Japanese 4th-grade and American 4th- and 6th-grade students watched either a Japanese or an English version of the same lesson and then were tested for recognition of teacher statements that were relevant or irrelevant to the content of the lesson. Japanese and American 4th graders were equally successful at recognizing relevant statements, but for irrelevant statements the performance of the Japanese students fell to chance, whereas American students' performance stayed at the same level. Although American 6th graders' recognition performance was better than that of the 4th graders, they showed the same pattern of recognition as the younger Americans, which suggests that these patterns of recognition are cultural rather than knowledge-based.

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