“Living in a State of Inquiry”: Lessons from the Student Work Study Teacher Initiative

The Living in a State of Inquiry: Lessons Learned from the Student Work Study Teacher Initiative resource will deepen the understanding of the Student Work Study (SWST) initiative. Research findings and the learning from teams representing a variety of school boards in Ontario are featured as the far reaching impacts of this initiative are explored.

Deepening our Learning
Evolution of Work
Future Directions
Spread and Sustain

A Forum for Action: Effective Practices in Mathematics Education

Captured on December 11 & 12, 2013

Mathematics – like literacy – is considered a “fundamental,” not just for some children but for all. So it is of concern that there has been a small but gradual decline in assessment results for mathematics in English language boards at Grades 3 and 6 over the past five years. Additionally, while gains have been made in Applied Mathematics, the gap between results for students in Grade 9 Academic and Grade 9 Applied remains significant.

Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Education designed a two-day conversation – a Forum for Action –to mine the best thinking of researchers and practitioners alike to the end of improving mathematics teaching and learning in Ontario schools.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Mary Jean Gallagher, set the context for the research discussions, introducing 11 distinguished academics mostly from Ontario universities with deep ties to district school boards. Each researcher was asked to address the following question: “What has your research revealed about the effective learning or teaching of mathematics?”

A number of key themes and recommendations emerged from the researchers’ presentations as follows:

Dr. Ruth Beatty - Teaching mathematics involves developing the ability of students to demonstrate complex thinking.
Dr. Joan Moss - High-quality mathematics programming in the primary years builds the foundation for future success.
Dr. Daniel Ansari - The ability to represent and compare numerical magnitudes is an important foundation for the learning of mathematics.
Dr. Nathalie Sinclair - The purposeful use of technology can build both spatial reasoning and number sense, important skills in early math development.
Dr. Walter Whiteley - There is a diversity of ways to support the active learning of mathematics.
Dr. Douglas McDougall - Collaborative teacher inquiry makes a positive difference for both students and teachers.
Dr. Alex Lawson - Knowledge of mathematics and knowledge of mathematics for teaching are both key to teacher impact.
Dr. Christine Suurtamm - Both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency underpin student and teacher success.
Dr. Cathy Bruce - Teacher and student efficacy are predictive of and strongly correlated to student achievement.
Dr. Jamie Pyper - Teacher concerns and orientation contribute to teacher efficacy.
Dr. Serge Demers - Mathematics teaching and learning in French language schools affirms the importance of designing a responsive mathematics learning environment.

Allan Luke: Continuing the Conversation

Continuing the Conversation series includes a wealth of ideas, strategies, and details to support your professional learning.


Elizabeth Coelho – Linguistic Diversity: An Asset

Elizabeth Coelho has extensive expertise in the area of English language learners, immigrant education, and effective instruction in linguistically and culturally diverse schools.

Video Clips

Exploring Aboriginal Education: Susan Dion

Susan Dion gives a straightforward account of the historical perspective educators need to think about as they work collaboratively to support Aboriginal education. She speaks of the need to be co-learners who approach their participation from a position of respect for Aboriginal world views.

Susan Dion - Video Clips

Jo Boaler: Mindsets

Jo Boaler is a British education author, and is Professor of Mathematics Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is the author of seven books including, What’s Math Got To Do With It? (2009).

Video Clips

Leaders in Educational Thought: Special Edition on Mathematics

Based on their research and on their experiences, seven educators offer their thinking about different aspects of learning mathematics, doing mathematics and thinking mathematically.

Alex Lawson
Marian Small
Lucy West
Daniel Ansari
Cathy Bruce
Doug Clements
Dan Meyer

Leaders in Educational Thought: Steven Katz, Carmel Crévola, Anthony Muhammad

Carmel Crévola is a consultant, author and researcher whose focus is on helping systems align their assessment processes, instructional practices and instructional leadership at the school, district and system levels. She has pioneered new approaches to data-driven literacy instruction and has led several large-scale school reform initiatives in Australia, Canada and the United States. Among her many publications, she is the co-author of the award-winning book, Breakthrough (2007).

Carmel Crévola
Steven Katz
Anthony Muhammad

Linking Today’s Understanding to Tomorrow’s Learning: Proportional Reasoning

In the resource Linking Today’s Understanding to Tomorrow’s Learning: Proportional Learning you will see teachers who think deeply about ways to help students develop proportional reasoning.

They determine how to make ideas explicit for students, to help them “notice things that would not otherwise be seen. The teachers use a wide variety of teaching strategies to have students learn deeply ratio tables.

Each day, these educators increase their understanding of how and what their students learn. at the same time, they develop their own capacity as learners and teachers.

Phase 1: Starting Points in the Learning
Phase 2: Building on the Learning
Phase 3: Extending the Learning
Talking about What Works
What Mathematics Researchers Are Learning

Math Study Groups: Learning in a Collaborative Culture of Inquiry, Study, Action

In this webcast, viewers will have the opportunity to learn alongside with a Study Group that is grounded in inquiry, study and action. Their work is cyclical, iterative and sustained.

Activating Thinking (Before)
Developing Learning (During)
Consolidating Learning (After)

Planning for Authentic, Integrated Learning

This resource follows an integrated learning cycle, co-planned by the classroom and resource teachers for…

Think Big and Think Real World
Planning For Assessment
Planning for Inspired Instruction

Planning for Mathematical Understanding: Fractions Across the Junior Grades

This resource documents the journey of junior teachers in Wellington Catholic District School Board who plan a unit on fractions as a division, implement it, and reflect on it at various points during its progression.

Collaborative Unit Planning
The Big Ideas of Fractions
Debrief and Reflections

Student Engagement

In this resource you will see a novice drama group with grade 10, 11 and 12 students. They decided to explore the notion of student engagement, an important issue for themselves and their peers.

They jotted down their ideas in response to 4 simple prompts:

I need

I don’t need…

Video Clips
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