Major Papers


mathematics, influential factors, family, school, society, expectation, China, Ontario


As math education is one of the most vital subjects required in school and society in the 21st century (European Commission, 2011), the student’s math competence has the potential to influence the development of economic, political and social policies of their own country (Hanushek, Woessmann, Jamison, & Jamison, 2008). Students’ engagement in math is influenced by many factors. Many studies show that the students’ engagement in math may influenced by parents’ attitude toward math and other studies show that the gender stereotype may influence students’ engagement in math. In this paper, according to the expectancy-value theory, students’ engagement with math are primarily influenced by the expectations from family, school and society. Among these three factors, students’ math engagement is significantly influenced by the school’s effect. However, this is not the only important factor. Parents play a critical role in the pre-education stage in terms of guiding a student’s attitude towards math. Furthermore, the other factors such as gender and social class also influence students’ academic experiences with math, and even their decisions on their future majors. The purpose of this paper is to explore math education broadly in Ontario and China. I will put forward the suggestions that may benefit these two regions so that they could learn from each other and improve student experiences with math.

Primary Advisor

Christopher Greig

Program Reader

Andrew Allen

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year