Why Asian children outperform students from other countries? Linguistic and parental influences comparing Chinese and Italian children in Preschool Education
Benedetto Di Paola
More Detail


This paper focusing on the complex situation of the Italian multiculturalism and trying to reply to why Asian children mathematically outperform students from other countries, discusses from the epistemological point of view, Chinese children’s skills before to start their formal education in Italian educational school context. A review of the literature, comparing pre-schoolers competences of Asian and Western students, reveals two important influenced factors: linguistic and parental stimuli. In particular many researchers showed that the structure of the Chinese language provides in children a head start in basic math skills, for example to discover, since preschool activities, a pre-algebraic structures of writing. An example with numbers is shown in the paper.
Other studies also show that Asian parents, compared to the Western cultures ones, tend to promote in a strong way the development of good basic mathematics skills and a stronger epistemological discipline foundation.
A general framework on these two important aspects for the education context is presented with the aim to help teacher and researchers to better understand Chinese and Italian possible different cognitive styles in mathematics learning just from Preschool.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, 2016, Volume 11, Issue 9, 3351-3359

Publication date: 19 Nov 2016

Article Views: 2988

Article Downloads: 1936

Open Access References How to cite this article