Kaylee Chu

Research Project

Math Teaching and Math Anxiety in the East and West: A Comparative Analysis


Kaylee is a final year Communications and Marketing student at Toronto Metropolitan University. With a keen interest in data, math and their practicality in the workplace, Kaylee performs research on math learning and teaching in the West and East to explore cultural perceptions of math and how educational institutions can be more effective in math teaching and preparing students for the workforce.

Research Summary

The delivery and goals of mathematics education have shifted over the last decade. From basic numerical topics that are taught to students in primary school curriculum, including multiplication, exponents, and division, the concept of mathematics now expands to express itself in every facet of life. Through mathematics, students learn how to budget, interpret population growth, follow cooking recipes, and make important and everyday decisions. This project, therefore, provides a comparative analysis of math learning and teaching in Western and Eastern countries with a focus on the notion of math anxiety and how it develops in these two areas. The research has found that math anxiety is often framed as a serious symptom with stress and consequences that need to be cured. Differences in Western and Eastern math teaching also provide some implications of students’ math anxiety. For example, Eastern curriculum’s focus on rote learning and extrinsic motivations make students become more likely to experience math anxiety. Through discovering the social construction of math anxiety in the West and East, this research recommends that schools should develop more interactive math teaching strategies while minimizing negative perceptions of math anxiety to avoid further stress and fear from students. 

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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