Mun Yee has extensive experience and lectures in both primary and secondary mathematics education in Australia and Hong Kong. She conducts research into pre-service teachers' mathematical content knowledge for teaching, teaching for mathematising in primary school, using Variation Theory in Learning Study and primary students' misconception in decimal fractions. Recently, she has begun to explore Chinese seconday students' belief in effective mathematics teachers and teaching.
Blind-review Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- Lai, M. Y., Kinnear, V., & Fung, C. I. (Accepted, 2019). Teaching Mathematics for Understanding in Primary Schools: Could Teaching for Mathematising be a Solution? International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
- Lai, M. Y., Carson, K. (In press 2019). Do Visual Perceptual Skills Play a Significant or Meager Role in Reading Acquisition for Chinese-speaking Children with and without Dyslexia? Curriculum and Teaching, 34(2).
- Lai, M. Y., & Clark, J. (2018). Extending the notion of Specialized Content Knowledge: Proposing constructs for SCK. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 20(2), 75-95.
- Lai, M.Y., & Fung, C.I. (2018). A Possible Learning Trajectory for Young Children’s Experiences of the Evolution of the Base-10 Positional Numeral System. In V. Kinnear, M. Lai, & T. Muir (Eds), Forging Connections in Early Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Early Mathematics Learning and Development, pp 97-113. Singapore : Springer.
- Lai, M. Y., & Wong, J. (2017). Revisiting Decimal Misconceptions from a new perspective: The significance of whole number bias in the Chinese culture. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 47, 96-108.
- Skrzypiec, G., & Lai, M. Y. (2017). Social psychology meets school mathematics in PISA 2012: An application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Australia. Psychology, 8(13), 2146-2173.
- Lai, M. Y., Auhl, G., & Hastings, W. (2015). Improving Pre-service teachers’ understanding of complexity of mathematics instructional practice through deliberate practice: A case study on Study of Teaching. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, December 2015.
- Lai, M. Y., & Murray, S. (2015). Hong Kong grade six students' performance and mathematical reasoning in decimal tasks: Procedurally based or conceptually based? International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 13(1), 123-149.
- Lai, M. Y., & Murray, S. (2014). What do error patterns tell us about Hong Kong Chinese and Australian students’ understanding of decimal numbers? International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, July 2014.
- Lai, M. Y. (2013). Constructing Meanings of Mathematical Registers Using Metaphorical Reasoning and Models. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 15(1), 29-47.
- Lai, M. Y. & Lo-Fu, P. Y. W. (2013). A case study of incorporating Learning Study in teacher education program in Hong Kong. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 2(1), 72-89.
- Lai, M. Y., & Leung, F. K. S. (2012). Visual perceptual abilities of Chinese-speaking and English-speaking children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 114(2), 433-445.
- Lai, M. Y., & Leung, F. K. S. (2012). Motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children. Human Movement Science, 31(5), 1328-1339.
- Lai, M. Y., & Murray, S. (2012). Teaching with procedural variation: A Chinese way of promoting deep understanding of mathematics. International Journal of Mathematics Teaching and Learning, April.
- Lai, M. Y. (2010). Is the development of motor-reduced visual perceptual skill always prior to that of visual-motor intergration skil? AARE Conference Proceeding. Melbourne, Australia. Paper code: 2367.
Refereed Conference Presentations & Proceedings
- Lai, M. Y., & Ho, S. Y. (2012). Preservice teachers’ specialized content knowledge on multiplication of decimals. In 12th International Congress on Mathematics Education (p. 4616-4625). Seoul, South Korea: ICME.
- Ho, S. Y., & Lai, M. Y. (2012). Preservice teachers’ specialized content knowledge on multiplication of fractions. In T.-Y. Tso (Ed.), Opportunities to learn in mathematics education: Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 2, pp. 177-184). Taipei, Taiwan: PME.
- Kinnear, V., Lai, M. Y., & Muir, Tracy (Eds.) (2018) Forging connections in early mathematics teaching and learning. Singapore : Springer.
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- Leung, I. K. C., & Lai, M. Y. (2009). Mathematically deductive reasoning skills on Euclidean Geometry through application of a dynamic geometric tool. China: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
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- Lai, M. Y., Leung, C. K., Poon, K. K. & Leung, K. S. (Eds) (2007). Proceedings of the Hong Kong Mathematics Conference 2007. 223 pp., Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Association for Mathematics Education.
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- Lai, M. Y. (2010). An exploratory study into Chinese and English speaking children’s visual perception. Proceedings of the 5th East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, EARCOME5: In search of excellence in mathematics education, vol. 2, 599-606. Tokyo, Japan.
- Lai, M. Y. & Tsang, K. W. (2009). Understanding primary children's thinking and misconceptions in decimal numbers. Online proceedings of International Conference on Primary Education. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education. http://www.ied.edu.hk/primaryed/eproceedings/fullpaper/RN375.pdf
- Lai, M. Y. (2004). An exploratory study on the visual-spatial perceptual ability of Chinese children. Research Studies in Education: The seventh Postgraduate Research Conference, 2004. Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.
- Lai, M. Y. (2002). Teacher's linguistic features in Mathematics classroom: An exploratory study. Proceedings of the Hong Kong Mathematics Education Conference-02. Hong Kong: Association for Mathematics Education.
- Lai, M. Y. (2001). Mathematics classroom language and mathematical literacy: a case study. CIEAEM 53: Mathematical Literacy in the digital era. Ghisettie Corvi Editori.
Can supervise: YES
- Investigating the impact of different language structures (i.e. English and Chinese) on children’s visual perceptual abilities and their conceptions of space and geometry
- Understanding primary students' misconceptions in decimal fractions.
- Investigating Study of Teaching and core practice for mathematics teaching
- Incorporating Procedural Variation as a core practice of mathematics teaching
- Developing assessment tool for understanding pre-service teachers mathematical content knowledge for teaching
Mathematics teaching and learning in primary schools
Lai, MY & Carson, K 2019, 'Motor-reduced visual perception and visual–motor integration of Chinese-speaking children with dyslexia', Curriculum and Teaching, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 53-70.
Lai, MY, Kinnear, V & Fung, CI 2019, 'Teaching Mathematics for Understanding in Primary Schools: Could Teaching for Mathematising be a Solution?', International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1-17.
This is a position paper in which we argue for Teaching for Mathematising as a pedagogy that supports teaching mathematics for understanding in primary school. Mathematics education in Australia currently emphasises teaching for mathematical understanding, a shift that redirects children’s learning from merely memorising computation procedures to helping children construct knowledge of the mathematics that informs mathematical concept and processes. The shift to teaching for understanding however is not reflected in students’ item responses in international and national achievement studies. This paper provides one example that illustrates a learning trajectory for supporting mathematical understanding of both conceptual and procedural knowledge through teaching that builds on the framework of Teaching for Mathematising. A corresponding field-test will then be used to illustrated how students learn pragmatically.
Lai, MY & Clark, J 2018, 'Extending the notion of Specialized Content Knowledge: Proposing constructs for SCK', Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 75-95.
While it is widely believed that Specialized Content Knowledge (SCK) is essential to effective and quality mathematics teaching, the specific constructs that compose SCK remain underspecified. This paper describes the development and use of a new framework that extends the notion of SCK. The framework was trialled with a cohort of 90 first year Bachelor of Education (Primary) pre-service teachers who enrolled in a regional Australian university. The pre-service teachers undertook a mathematics test, which required them to address school students’ misconceptions and to explain specific mathematical concepts. Resultant data (i.e., the pre-service teachers’ responses to the written test) provided an empirical basis for the proposed constructs of SCK. The analysis of the data allowed insight into the central question: whether the proposed framework enables researchers to identify the constructs of SCK in the pre-service teachers’ responses to a written test which examines their SCK. Ultimately, we aim to conceptualise the constructs of SCK through elaborating the theoretical and empirical basis.
Lai, MY & Wong, JP 2017, 'Revisiting decimal misconceptions from a new perspective: The significance of whole number bias in the Chinese culture', Journal of Mathematical Behavior, vol. 47, pp. 96-108.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 The aim of this study was to investigate Hong Kong Grade 4 students' understanding of the decimal notation system including their knowledge of decimal quantities. This is a unique study because most previous studies were conducted in Western cultural settings; therefore we were interested to see whether Chinese students have the same kinds of misconceptions as Western students given the Chinese number naming system is relatively transparent and explicit. Three hundred and forty-one students participated in a written test on decimal numbers. Thirty-two students were interviewed to further explore their mathematical reasoning. In summary, the results indicated that many students had mastered reasonable knowledge of decimal notation and quantities, which may be attributed to the Chinese linguistic clarity of decimal numbers. More importantly, the results showed that some students' construction of decimal concepts have been adversely affected by persistent misconceptions arising from whole number bias. Two kinds of whole number misconceptions, namely “-ths suffix error” and “reversed place value progression error”, were revealed in this study. This paper suggests that a framework theory approach to conceptual change may be an alternative approach to addressing students' learning difficulties in decimals.
Skrzypiec, G & Lai, MY 2017, 'Social Psychology Meets School Mathematics in PISA 2012: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Australia', Psychology, vol. 08, no. 13, pp. 2146-2173.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lai, MY, Hastings, W & Auhl, G 2015, 'Improving Pre-service teachers’ understanding of complexity of mathematics instructional practice through deliberate practice: A case study on Study of Teaching.', International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
Lai, MY & Murray, S 2014, 'HONG KONG GRADE 6 STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE AND MATHEMATICAL REASONING IN DECIMALS TASKS: PROCEDURALLY BASED OR CONCEPTUALLY BASED?', International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 123-149.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2014, National Science Council, Taiwan. Most studies of students’ understanding of decimals have been conducted within Western cultural settings. The broad aim of the present research was to gain insight into Chinese Hong Kong grade 6 students’ general performance on a variety of decimals tasks. More specifically, the study aimed to explore students’ mathematical reasoning for their use of ‘rules’ and algorithms and to determine whether connections exist between students’ conceptual and procedural knowledge when completing decimals tasks. Results indicated that conceptual understanding for rules and procedures were built into the students’ knowledge system for most of the items concerned with place value in decimals—ordering decimals, translating fractions into decimals, the representation of place value in decimals, the concept of place value in decimals on number line and the concept of continuous quantity in decimals. However, the students were not able to provide such clear explanations for the use of algorithms for the multiplication and division items. The findings are discussed in the light of Chinese perspectives on procedural and conceptual understanding.
Lai, MY & Murray, S 2014, 'What do error patterns tell us about Hong Kong Chinese and Australian students’ understanding of decimal numbers?', International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
Lai, MY 2013, 'Constructing Meanings of Mathematical Registers Using Metaphorical Reasoning and Models', Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 29-47.
Lai, MY & Lo-Fu, YWP 2013, 'Incorporating learning study in a teacher education program in Hong Kong: a case study', International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 72-89.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2013, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report a case study of how learning study was incorporated in teacher education programs in Hong Kong. It aims to share the success of the program and to disseminate how pre-service teachers enhanced their mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge by practising learning study. Building on the work, this paper suggests incorporating the framework of learning study, a theory-guided pedagogical principle, as an integrated subject of mathematics pedagogy and teaching practice in teacher education programs. Design/methodology/approachIn total 32 pre-service teachers’ learning journals of their reflections of learning processes were analyzed. The analysis of data and reporting of findings are linked tightly to how pre-service teachers enhanced their mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge by practising learning study. FindingsThe 32 pre-service teachers noted that the learning study subject fostered their understanding of relationship between theory and practice and their understanding of transforming knowledge into action. In particular, they came to understand that knowledge of pupils and content involves a particular mathematical idea or procedure and familiarity with students’ prior knowledge and misconceptions. They also reported that they understood better what mathematics pedagogy content knowledge means and what components it includes. Originality/valueThe suggestions of incorporating the framework of learning study in teacher education programs is supported and manifested by the positive feedback and comments of the 32 pre-service teachers who underwent the entire learning process of learning study in Hong Kong. The findings demonstrate how pre-service teachers’ mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge were enhanced by practising learning study.
Lai, MY & Leung, FKS 2012, 'Motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children', Human Movement Science, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1328-1339.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This study investigated the relationship between motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children by employing the Developmental Test of Visual Perception (Hammill, Pearson, & Voress, 1993), in which both abilities are measured in a single test. A total of 72 native Chinese learners of age 5 participated in this study. The findings indicated that the Chinese learners scored much higher in the visual-motor integration tasks than in motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks. The results support the theory of autonomous systems of motor-reduced visual perception and visual-motor integration and query current beliefs about the prior development of the former to the latter for the Chinese learners. To account for the Chinese participants' superior performance in visual-motor integration tasks over motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks, the visual-spatial properties of Chinese characters, general handwriting theories, the motor control theory and the psychogeometric theory of Chinese character-writing are referred to. The significance of the findings is then discussed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Lai, MY & Leung, FKS 2012, 'Visual perceptual abilities of Chinese-speaking and English-speaking children', Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 114, no. 2, pp. 433-445.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper reports an investigation of Chinese-speaking and English- speaking children's general visual perceptual abilities. The Developmental Test of Visual Perception was administered to 41 native Chinese-speaking children of mean age 5 yr. 4 mo. in Hong Kong and 35 English-speaking children of mean age 5 yr. 2 mo. in Melbourne. Of interest were the two interrelated components of visual perceptual abilities, namely, motor-reduced visual perceptual and visual-motor integration perceptual abilities, which require either verbal or motoric responses in completing visual tasks. Chinese-speaking children significantly outperformed the English-speaking children on general visual perceptual abilities. When comparing the results of each of the two different components, the Chinese-speaking students' performance on visual-motor integration was far better than that of their counterparts (ES = 2.70), while the two groups of students performed similarly on motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities. Cultural factors such as written language format may be contributing to the enhanced performance of Chinese-speaking children's visual-motor integration abilities, but there may be validity questions in the Chinese version. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2012.
Lai, MY & Murray, S 2012, 'Teaching with procedural variation: A Chinese way of promoting deep understanding of mathematics', International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
Lai, MY & Fung, CI 2018, 'A possible Learning Trajectory for Young Children's Experiences of the Evolution of the Base-10 Positional Numeral System' in Forging Connections in Early Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Springer, Singapore, pp. 97-113.