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Research Spotlight: Douglas McDougall

Teaching and Learning Math

How can more teachers improve how they teach mathematics?

Doug is interested in improving the teaching and learning process in mathematics. He has co-created a conceptual framework for math teachers, called: Ten Dimensions of Mathematics Education.

Used by teachers and administrators, Ten Dimensions is a framework for understanding and developing good teaching practices in mathematics.

The framework helps elementary and secondary school teachers to better understand the many elements in the teaching of mathematics and to identify areas where they need to improve. In some schools, teachers have used the Ten Dimensions to coach their peers. These teachers observe one another in the classroom and provide feedback on their practices. There is also a beliefs and attitudes survey for teachers to identify their areas of strength and weakness when teaching math.

In addition to helping teachers teach math, Doug is investigating whether this research can also be used to retain new teachers and also as a professional development practice in schools. He also uses this research as an organizer for his pre-service and graduate courses.

“I think theTen Dimensions of Mathematics Education is a framework that could be introduced to all school districts and be used with school improvement planning,” he says.

Most recently, Doug introduced his Ten Dimensions model to grade 9 math teachers. This research will inform how peer coaching and mathematics improvement models can be applied in secondary schools. The results will also determine how feasible the framework might be for special needs students in secondary schools.

This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Learning Consortium.

Douglas McDougall is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and director of the Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education.

Doug's faculty profile (CTL)

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