Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Allan Pitman

Second Advisor

George Gadanidis


The recent curricular reforms in mathematics education in Punjab, Pakistan and Ontario, Canada are studied in this work. The countries are first studied individually and then compared against each other. Using historical sociology, differences between traditional and modern education as well as the underlying theories of mathematics learning are incorporated to explain the shifts in the mathematics curricula in both the cases. We also discuss the various aspects of shifts in learning theories as mainly a tension between the traditional and progressive modes of learning. In the case of Punjab, Pakistan, it is found that the revised reform documents as well as the mathematics textbooks, do not displace the traditional views of learning mathematics as passive reception, rote memorization and reproduction of textbook questions in assessment. In the case of Ontario, Canada, shifts in Ontario mathematics curricular reforms over a decade (1995-2005) indicate adjustment and implementation towards newer learning theories based upon constructivism. This shift is claimed to be based on the 1989 NCTM reforms in the USA. This learning theory shifted considerably in the 1997 document, which is argued to be a mixture of traditionalist skill-based mathematics and the newer problem-solving based constructivist approach. The latest 2005 curriculum document, however, firmly re-focuses on problem-solving as a central feature as well as placing substantial emphasis on “mathematical processes” like communication and information technology for learning and teaching mathematics. Keywords: Mathematics Education, Comparative Education, Historical Sociology, and Curriculum Studies.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.