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Catherine Marks Krpan wins the 2021 Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award

February 23, 2021

By Jordana Feldman



Dr. Catherine Marks Krpan has received the 2021 Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Mathematics Education.

Marks Krpan is professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning whose belief that “anyone can be a math person” has resulted in a prolific body of work aimed at helping students overcome their fear of mathematics and has enhanced educational access to mathematics in underserved communities across Canada.

Members of the adjudication committee were impressed by the numerous ways in which the nominators’ letters reflected all the components of the Margaret Sinclair Award criteria, which recognizes outstanding leadership, innovation, excellence, leadership, and influence.

Supporters of Dr. Marks Krpan’s nomination noted her affirmation that any student can engage in deep and complex mathematics. Some of the innovative research she has undertaken include her work with elementary school teachers around mathematical argumentation and proof, which are rooted in theory while still providing practical support, thus allowing teachers to bring rich mathematical experiences into their classrooms.

“Teachers and students feel like they can meaningfully enact the pedagogies she shares, even if they have never done it before, because she anchors this work in the practical conditions of the elementary classroom,” one of her support letters observed.

Marks Krpan is known for her passionate and engaging teaching style, which complements her adeptness at helping students work through their anxieties. A former student writes: "I have always been very anxious about math, but Cathy really helped me love and appreciate it. She made each and every single class so engaging, exciting, and challenging (in a good way)!”

In her work with preservice teachers and in-service educators, and within her partnerships with First Nations education stakeholders, Board administrators, graduate students and colleagues, Marks Krpan has served as an inspiration to teachers and educators, sharing her knowledge and expertise. However, she also values the personal learning opportunities that her collaborations afford her. Perhaps, for this reason, she is described as “generous” and “humble” by several of her supporters.

Dr. Marks Krpan is scheduled to deliver the Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award Lecture in February 2022. 


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