Investigating Characteristics of Award-Winning Grades 7-12 Mathematics Teachers from the Shandong Province in China


  • Su Liang California State University
  • Sarah Glaz University of Connecticut
  • Thomas DeFranco


award-winning teachers, teaching competition, teaching research, teacher collaboration, systematic lesson preparation


International comparison studies indicate that Chinese students outperform many of their peers in mathematics tests and competitions. Since teaching is a major determinant in students’ learning gains, it is reasonable to hypothesize that this learning gap is associated with their teachers. The development of teaching expertise has not received sufficient attention in research investigations in mathematics education. By examining a group of award-winning grades 7-12 mathematics teachers from the Shandong province in China, this study identified the characteristics of these teachers and illuminated how their expertise had been developed over the years. The findings provide an insightful view of effective teaching practices in China from an international perspective. 


Author Biographies

Su Liang, California State University

Su Liang, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at California State University. Her research interests include K-12 mathematics teacher preparation and mathematics teaching and learning. 

Sarah Glaz, University of Connecticut

Sarah Glaz, Ph.D., is a professor and Graduate Director for Instructional Development at the mathematics department of the University of Connecticut. Her research interests in education include the use of art in the mathematics classroom, and teaching assistant training and development.

Thomas DeFranco

Thomas C. DeFranco, Ph.D., is Dean of the Neag School of Education and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include mathematical problem solving as well as the teaching and learning of mathematics at the K-16 level.




How to Cite

Liang, S., Glaz, S., & DeFranco, T. (2012). Investigating Characteristics of Award-Winning Grades 7-12 Mathematics Teachers from the Shandong Province in China. Current Issues in Education, 15(3). Retrieved from