Tracing the trajectory of mathematics teaching across two contrasting educational jurisdictions: a comparative analysis of historical and contemporary influences


  • Stuart Shaw
  • Nicky Rushton
  • Dominika Majewska


England, United States, curriculum, teaching, centralised, decentralised


This paper seeks to identify significant trends in mathematics curricula and teaching approaches in two education systems: the United States (a highly decentralised education system) and England (a highly centralised education system), with focus on 16-to-19-year-olds. The paper adopts a two-fold perspective: an historical overview, and comparison of the areas of convergence and divergence across both education systems. The trajectory of mathematical development is expressed through timelines of core concepts and ideas which chronicle the sequence of events and philosophies that have shaped the development of mathematics teaching and learning. By tracing the trajectory of mathematics through history, the paper provides a greater awareness of how different factors influence how mathematics is taught across two disparate educational jurisdictions. The paper affords opportunities to reflect on and draw conclusions about what constitutes meaningful mathematics teaching and curriculum approaches for 21st century learner.






General Refereed Papers