“Economic Mathematics” Innovation in Japan

Katsushi Mizuno, Go Igusa, Shio Ando, Kazuka Nambu, Eiji Takeda

Abstract


A book entitled ‘University Students who Cannot Calculate Fractions’ published at the end of 1990s in Japan (edited by Okabe k. et. al, 1999) aimed to disclose the mathematical level of Japanese University Students by testing them with primary and secondary school level math quizzes. The 20% of them could not even solve fraction questions that children learn at primary school. This fact is indeed problematic for them to study Economics in higher education.

Our study thus investigated how Japanese mathematics education has improved after 20 years of this book publication by testing university students with the same math questions used in the previous survey. The results were indifferent from the previous ones proving that the mathematics education in Japan was not innovated in these 20 years.

Our paper explored what kinds of mathematical knowledge would disturb the current Japnese university students for understanding fundamental subjects such as Macro and Micro Economics. The results clarified the mathematical components they felt difficulty for understanding as well as their feelings of dislike for math. They are in the category of basic mathematical knowledge used in Economics, meaning that the education of this field is not sufficient and adequate for Japanese university students. This category is characteristic for Japanese university`s curriculum,called Economic Mathematics.

Our paper pointed out that the education of mathematical knowledge for understanding Economics including curriculums must be drastically developed. By doing so, students who do not even understand primary level fractions should be able to adequately understand Economics in higher education. As a result, our original textbook based upon the research outcomes will be created.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v4i12.1964

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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