Math Education in Canada Ranks Low

Attention Canada! In December, Canada has placed 13 out of 65 nations in the overall standings in mathematics according to OECD report. Due to Canada being in 13th place, our country has dropped out of the top 10 in international math education rankings. In four-year assessments: 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, we slid from 6th to 13th place. This sounds alarming to many Canadians and many are questioning the education system in our country.

Math is one of the required courses to be able to gain acceptance in university and employers states that they face a challenge to find qualified applicants with math and engineering backgrounds. Currently, the ministers of education in most provinces are re-examining the curriculum for all subjects in the school system. According to The Globe and Mail, Quebec has the highest Canadian provincial standing in Math. Manitoba, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador received the largest decline in math score performance in Canada.

One of the recommendations to improve this ranking according to Liz Sandals, an Education Minister, is to improve teacher training in math. Educators believe the one of the reason behind the decline math scores in Canada is that the teachers do not have enough confidence in their ability to teach math to students. Others are recommending a change in the education culture to begin teaching students the fundamental skill early on.

What would you recommend as a solution to improve numerical literacy in our children or students?