Andrews, P. R. and Sayers, J. (2013) Comparative studies of mathematics teaching: does the means of analysis determine the outcome? ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education.45(1), pp. 133-144. 1863-9690.

This paper addresses four questions concerning the influence of culture on mathematics teachersâ€™ professional practice. Firstly, drawing on categorical data yielded by the application of low inference coding schedule to video recordings of sequences of lessons taught by case study teachers on four common topics in England, Flanders, Hungary and Spain, we undertook an exploratory factor analysis to examine the ways in which such coded variables interact. This process yielded five factors, each of which was interpretable against the literature and highlighted the extent to which dichotomisations of mathematics teaching as reform or traditional are not necessarily helpful, not least because all project teachers exhibited characteristics of both. Secondly, factors scores were analysed by nationality to reveal culturally located practices resonant with the available literature. Thirdly, cluster analyses yielded four well-defined cross-cultural clusters of episodes, each indicative of particular didactical perspectives that appeared to challenge the exclusivity of these culturally located practices. Finally, the key methodological finding was that the manner in which data are analysed influences greatly the outcomes of comparative mathematics research.