Limin Jao

Title: 
Dr.
Academic title(s): 

Assistant Graduate Program Director (MA and MATL programs)

Assistant Professor

Contact Information
Address: 

Education Building, Room 248
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 089696 

Email address: 
limin.jao [at] mcgill.ca
Department: 
Department of Integrated Studies in Education
Biography: 

My research focuses on three areas: 1) exemplary teaching practice, 2) teacher beliefs, and 3) teacher education.

I engage in research exploring exemplary mathematics teaching practices to better understand how to foster positive experiences for students. My early work investigated ways in which mathematics teachers working with at-risk students, contributed to increasing their students’ engagement and learning. Multiple case studies were used to describe how these teachers considered and implemented approaches within academic and social domains for student engagement. Current research on exemplary teaching practice focuses on transdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches targeting issues of social justice and equity, and interactions of mathematics with other disciplines (e.g., art, children’s literature, music, STEAM).

Research about teacher beliefs currently focuses on pre-service teachers (PSTs). I investigate the impact that teacher education programs have on these developing teachers’ beliefs. More specifically, I examine how the structure (e.g., scope and sequencing) and individual components (e.g., coursework and field experiences) of the program effect PSTs’ beliefs. Other previous research compared the experiences and beliefs of elementary and secondary mathematics PSTs.

My research in teacher education engages with the question: How can we support teacher change? I investigate this in both contexts of pre-service teacher education and in-service professional development. My research on teachers’ beliefs intersects with the field of pre-service teacher education and explores the structures and opportunities within pre-service teacher education to support PSTs’ development. For in-service teachers, I focus on effective and sustainable professional development (PD). I advocate for collaborative models of PD explore various elements (e.g., teacher collaboration, institutional and administrative support) within the context of these PD initiatives and document the experiences and outcomes of teachers engaging in this PD.

My research is a vehicle to analyze mathematics teacher education and directly informs my own practice. I teach mathematics education courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. As an educator, I develop opportunities for rich student learning by creating a safe and inclusive classroom, and use pedagogy to encourage student engagement. I often focus on methods that allow my students to learn through inquiry-based experiences and urge them to take ownership of their learning.

Degree(s): 

Ph.D., Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)
M.A., Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)
B.Ed., Secondary Biology and Mathematics Education, Queen's University
B.Sc.H., Biology and Mathematics, Queen's University

Area of expertise: 
  • At-risk youth
  • Mathematics education
  • Pedagogy
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Teacher education and professional development (pre-service and in-service)
  • Teacher identity
  • Teacher practices
Courses: 

EDES 353 Teaching Secondary Mathematics I
EDES 453 Teaching Secondary Mathematics II
EDTL 627 Applied Methods in Teaching Mathematics in Secondary School
EDTL 628 Advanced Methods in Teaching Mathematics in Secondary School

Current research: 

Investigating a unique opportunity: How the role of a teaching assistant supports secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ development

Student-directed, STEAM inquiry: A purposeful learning community for change in practice

The general public’s views of gender and mathematics: A non-binary study

Understanding the nature of change of secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ beliefs: Implications of a multi-faceted teacher education program

Funding: Tomlinson Project in University-Level Science Education

Funding: Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant

Funding: Faculty of Education, Monash University

Funding: Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture

Research Team: Limin Jao (PI), Gurpreet Sambhi, Ying Syuan Huang

Research Team: Limin Jao (PI), Dawn Wiseman (co-investigator), Isabella Boutros, Kelly Kim

Research Team: Jennifer Hall (PI), Limin Jao (collaborator), Cinzia Di Placido, Rebecca Manikis

Research Team: Limin Jao (PI), Alexandra Stewart, Maria-Josée Bran Lopez, Nakita Rao

Selected publications: 

* – Indicates student co-author

Selected Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Jao, L. (2018). Stories in mathematics teacher education: Pre-service teachers’ experiences creating an Important Book. Learning Landscapes, 11(2), 211-222.

Jao, L., Wiseman, D., Kobiela, M., Gonsalves, A., & Savard, A. (2018). Practice-based pedagogy in mathematics and science teaching methods: Challenges and adaptations in context. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 18(2), 177-186.

Jao, L. & Hall, J. (2018). The important things about writing in secondary mathematics classes. The Australian Mathematics Teacher, 74(1), 13-19.

Radakovic, N., Jagger, S., Jao, L. (2018). Realizing multiplicity in the uni-verse: Our reading and writing of mathematical poetry. For the Learning of Mathematics, 38(1), 2-6.

Hall, J., & Jao, L. (2017). Pirouettes and protractors: Dancing through mathematics. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 22(3), 3-7.

Jao, L. (2017). Shifting pre-service teachers' beliefs about mathematics teaching: The contextual situation of a mathematics methods course. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(5), 895-914.

Jao, L., & McDougall, D. (2016). Moving beyond the barriers: Supporting meaningful teacher collaboration to improve secondary school mathematics. Teacher Development, 20(4), 557-573.

Jao, L., & McDougall, D. (2015). The Collaborative Teacher Inquiry Project: A purposeful professional development initiative. Canadian Journal of Education, 38(1). Retrieved from http://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/1600.

Carrier, N., Sohn, J., Jao, L., & Shah, S. (2014). From too little to too much: Sorting through the online resource environment in education. Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 4(1), 33-49.

Jao, L. (2013). From sailing ships to subtraction symbols: Multiple representations to support abstraction. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from www.cimt.org.uk/journal/jao.pdf.

Jao, L. (2013). Peer coaching as a model for professional development in the elementary mathematics context: Challenges, needs and rewardsPolicy Futures in Education, 11(3), 290-297.

Jao, L. (2012). Culturally aware teaching through cooperative learning and multiple representations in the multicultural classroomMulticultural Education. 19(3), 2-10.

Selected Books edited (including journal editing)

Jao, L., & Radakovic, N. (Eds.). (2018). Transdisciplinarity in mathematics education: Blurring disciplinary boundaries. The Netherlands: Springer.

Atkinson, D., Dookie, L., Jagger, S., Jao, L., Kim, V., Oztok, M., … Zingaro, D. (2014). Graduate Student Innovation in SMT Education Research, Special Issue of the Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 14(2).

Selected Book Chapters

Jao, L. (2019). Gifted programs: Meeting the needs of exceptional students, or just good teaching practice? In P. P. Trifonas & S. Jagger (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Studies in Education (pp. 113-123). London, UK: Routledge.

Jao, L. (2018). Considering both academic and social domains: Increasing student engagement in at-risk classrooms. In A. Kajander, J. Holm, & E. Chernoff (Eds.), Teaching and learning secondary school mathematics: Canadians’ perspective in an international context (pp. 257-267). Netherlands: Springer.

Jao, L., *Proietti, M., & Kobiela, M. (2018). Examining the development of a transdisciplinary collaboration. In L. Jao & N. Radakovic (Eds.), Transdisciplinarity in mathematics education: Blurring disciplinary boundaries. Netherlands: Springer.

Jao, L. (2011). Multiple representations: An accessible and inclusive strategy for facilitating the construction of student mathematical knowledge. In Boufoy-Bastick, B. (Ed.) The international handbook of cultures of teacher education: Comparative international issues in curriculum and pedagogy (pp. 55-71). Strasbourg, France: Analytrics.

Conferences: 

Selected Refereed Conference Presentations

Jao, L., *Sahmbi, G., & *Bran Lopez, M-J. (2019, April). The Cycle of Enactment and Investigation: An approach for novice teacher educator professional development. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON.

Jao, L., *Rao, N. (2019, April). Lived experiences: Secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ perspectives about their teacher education program. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON.

Lunney Borden, L., Wiseman, D., Beatty, R., *Carter, E., & Jao, L. (2019, April). STEM emerging from and contributing to community. Paper presented as part of the Symposium, Re-imagining the M in STEM: Mathematical Actions for Innovative, Resilient, and Culturally Rich Communities at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON.

Hall, J., & Jao, L. (2018, July). The Australian general public’s views of gender and mathematics: A comparison of findings from binary and non-binary studies. Paper presented at the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Hall, J., & Jao, L. (2018, June). The Canadian general public’s views of gender and mathematics: A comparison of findings from binary and non-binary studies. Paper presented at the Canada International Conference on Education Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

Jao, L., *Sahmbi, G., & *Huang, Y. S. (2018, April). “I would've been a lost puppy”: Communities of practice to support novice teacher educators. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Jao, L., *Sahmbi, G., & *Huang, Y. S. (2018, April). Pre-service teachers as teaching assistants in a teaching methods course: A unique context for professional growth. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

*Sahmbi, G., Jao, L., McDougall, D. (2017, May). "It's like going to Mars!": Middle school educators' perspectives on the student transition from middle to high school mathematics. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

Jao, L., Kobiela, M., *Proietti, M., & *Friedmann, D. (2017, April). Integrating urban arts and mathematics: The journey of one teacher and his students. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Jao, L. (2016, July). The important thing about secondary pre-service teacher education: Pushing pedagogical boundaries. Paper presented at the 13th International Congress on Mathematics Education, Hamburg, Germany.

Radakovic, N., Jagger, S., & Jao, L. (2016, April). My universe: Pre-service teachers' understanding of quantity and scale through poetry. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Jao, L. (2015, June). The becoming of a mathematics educator: Affirming experiences in the teacher education program. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, Ottawa, ON.

Jao, L. (2014, April). Changing pre-service teachers’ beliefs about mathematics education: The effects of a mathematics pedagogy course. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Sohn, J., Jao, L., Shah, S., & Carrier, N. (2013, June). How educators evaluate online research products. In Knowledge Mobilization. Symposium conducted at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, Victoria, BC.

McDougall, D. E., Jao, L., Kwan, K., & Yan, X. H. (2012, April). Improving mathematics teaching in elementary school: Peer coaching initiative. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Jao, L. (2011, May). Constructing mathematical knowledge with multiple representations: A case study of a grade one teacher. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, Fredericton, NB.

McDougall, D. E. & Jao, L. (2011, April). Collaborative teacher inquiry: Working together to improve grade 9 mathematics achievement. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Graduate supervision: 

I supervise and act as a committee member for graduate students in the following DISE programs: Educational Leadership, Educational Studies, Educational Studies – Mathematics and Science, and Second Language Education. Topics of current and former graduate student research range a variety of topics including: computer science and/in the mathematics curriculum, mathematics teaching and learning in CEGEP contexts, pet therapy to support at-risk youth, pre-service teacher development in math and science education, professional development in higher education, student resilience in mathematics, supporting pre-term children in mathematics learning contexts, and teacher identity in Second Language Education contexts.

I welcome inquiries from potential graduate students.