Western professor to help get math education research into province’s classrooms

By: Cory Habermehl
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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Western Education professor George Gadanidis works with local elementary school students to demonstrate some of his latest research on teaching mathematics to kids.

A new organization aimed at sharing knowledge and research on how to best teach Math will soon bring Ontario’s Math researchers and teachers closer together.

The Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) Mathematics Knowledge Network (MKN) was recently announced by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The network will work with groups of math stakeholders across the province to help ensure the latest research on teaching math reaches the province’s classrooms as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Western Education professor George Gadanidis has been tapped to co-lead the initiative.

"The MKN is a wonderful opportunity to connect mathematics education researchers and professionals, to learn from one another, to develop better ways of supporting Ontario's New Math Strategy to enhance student learning, and to create networks for sharing pedagogical ideas that work across the province,” says Gadanidis.
The Network will be hosted at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences – a leading international research centre located at the University of Toronto.

Co-led by Wilfrid Laurier Education professor Donna Kotsopoulos, it includes partners from several school districts, 10 universities and six education organizations.

The group hopes to develop communities of practice that will focus on important themes in mathematics, including math leadership, critical transitions in math development and advancing math learning for First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.

“We want math to be a subject that kids love to engage with, and to see them eager to share their learning with parents and the wider community," says Gadanidis.

KNAER – a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Education, Western University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – has been promoting the use of research in education since 2010, and supports thematic knowledge networks like the MKN in building system capacity for knowledge mobilization and research use. It is co-directed by Western Education professor Katina Pollock, and University of Toronto professor Carol Campbell.

“We’re delighted with the establishment of the Math Knowledge Network to help advance and mobilize mathematical knowledge to support students' achievement, equity and well-being in Ontario,” says Pollock. “We look forward to this partnership and supporting the Network with their work.”