In China, since ancient ages, mathematics was approached through collections of exemplary problems, explored by means of variation (biànshì). This extant tradition is one of the traits of mathematics education in China for all school levels. In this paper we report a teaching experiment realized in Italy, for multiplicative word problems in fourth grade, where the Chinese biànshì methodology has been transposed to an Italian classroom, tailoring it to a different cultural tradition and to the choice of the theoretical framework of semiotic mediation. In this way an old and stereotyped subject in Italian textbooks has come back to life through learning across cultures.
Word problems in different cultural traditions / Bartolini, Maria Giuseppina; CANALINI CORPACCI, Rita; Ramploud, Alessandro. - ELETTRONICO. - (2012), pp. 45-64. (Intervento presentato al convegno Innovative Approaches in Education: Design and Networ tenutosi a Patrasso nel October 20-21, 2013).