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Limin Jao

Title: 
Dr.
Academic title(s): 
Limin Jao
Contact Information
Address: 

Education Building, Room 317
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 089696 

 

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

My program of research is motivated by the following goal: To improve the quality of mathematics education. Research shows that students’ academic success is linked to the knowledge and pedagogical skills of their teachers. Thus, I address my goal by focusing on mathematics teachers. More specifically, my research focuses on two areas: 1) exemplary teaching practices, and 2) teacher education and professional development.

I engage in research exploring exemplary teaching practices to better understand how to foster positive experiences for students. My early work investigated ways in which the practices of mathematics teachers working with at-risk students, contributed to increasing their students’ engagement and learning. Current research focuses on student-centered and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, highlighting the affordances and challenges of these approaches with typically underrepresented groups in STEM.

My work in teacher education and professional development considers pre-service and in-service teachers. Specifically for pre-service teacher (PST) education, I explore the structures and opportunities within teacher education programs to support PSTs’ development. I consider how multiple components of teacher education programs (e.g., mathematics methods courses, mathematics content courses, and field experiences) and the varied scope and sequencing of these components influence PSTs’ development in teacher education programs across Canada. Research with in-service teachers focuses on effective and sustainable professional development (PD). Research shows that successful PD typically employs a combination of some or all of the following elements: job-embedded learning, teacher collaboration, and institutional and administrative support. In my research, I explore these various elements within the context of 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 aim to 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, University of Toronto
M.A., Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
B.Ed., Secondary Biology and Mathematics Education, Queen's University
B.Sc.H., Biology and Mathematics, Queen's University

Areas of expertise: 

• At-risk youth
• Cross-curricular / interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning
• Mathematics education
• Pedagogy
• STE(A)M education
• Student engagement
• Teacher education and professional development (pre-service and in-service)
• 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

Projects: 

Ongoing Projects

Collaborative Teacher Inquiry: Partnering to develop meaningful cross-curricular project-based learning

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grant. (2019-present)
Principal Investigator: Limin Jao; Co-investigator: Dawn Wiseman (Bishop's); Research assistant: Cinzia Di Placido

The goal of this project is to develop a model of teacher professional development to support teacher collaboration across disciplines and create meaningful cross-curricular project-based learning teaching materials.

Supporting parents in understanding student-directed STEM inquiry

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant. (2019-present).
Principal Investigator: Dawn Wiseman (Bishop's); Co-investigator: Limin Jao; Research assistant: Tali Starzenski

The goals of this project are to use student-directed STEM inquiry as a means for supporting parents in understanding how this approach to teaching and learning aligns with Quebec curricula through development of an assessment and communication plan for the project that provides means for students, parents, and teachers to understand the skills and learning occurring in the Science and Technology course.

Designing more effective secondary school mathematics teacher education programs: The influence of content and sequencing for methods courses and practica on pre-service teachers’ beliefs

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2018-present)
Principal Investigator: Limin Jao; Co-investigator: Doug McDougall (OISE); Research assistant: Gurpreet Sahmbi, Maria-Josée Bran Lopez

This study explores the question: How does the content and sequencing of mathematics teaching methods courses and practica impact pre-service teachers’ (PSTs’) beliefs about mathematics teaching and learning? PSTs at institutions with varied approaches to content and sequencing will serve as the participants for this comparative study.

Selected Completed Projects

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

Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs (2014-2018)
Principal Investigator: Limin Jao; Research assistants: Alexandra Stewart, Maria-Josée Bran Lopez, Nakita Rao

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

Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant (2018)
Principal Investigator: Limin Jao; Co-investigator: Dawn Wiseman (Bishop's); Research assistants: Isabella Boutros, Kelly Kim

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

Faculty of Education, Monash University. (2017)
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Hall (Monash); Collaborator: Limin Jao; Research assistants: Cinzia Di Placido, Rebecca Manikis

A unique opportunity: Investigating the experiences of secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ in their role as TEAM Awardees

Tomlinson Project in University-Level Science Education (T-Pulse). (2017)
Principal Investigator: Limin Jao; Research assistants: Ying Syuan Huang, Gurpreet Sahmbi

 

 

Selected publications: 

~ – Indicates classroom teacher co-author
* – Indicates student co-author

Selected Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Jao, L., *Stewart, A., & *Rao, N. (2020). Lived experiences: Secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ perspectives about multiple components of their teacher education program. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 1-18. Online first: https://mted.merga.net.au/index.php/mted/article/view/595.

Wiseman, D., Lunney Borden, L., Beatty, R., Jao, L., & *Carter, E. (2020). Whole-some artifacts: (STEM) Teaching and learning emerging from and contributing to community. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 1-17.

Jao, L., *Sahmbi, G., & *Huang, Y-S. (2020). Professional growth through reflection and an approximation of practice: Experiences of pre-service teachers as teaching assistants in a secondary mathematics teaching methods course. The Teacher Educator, 55(1), 47-65.

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). Writing and reading multiplicity in the uni-verse: engagements with mathematics through 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.

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 rewards. Policy Futures in Education, 11(3), 290-297.

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

~ – Indicates classroom teacher co-author
* – Indicates student co-author

Selected Books

Radakovic, N., & Jao, L. (Eds.). (2020). Borders in mathematics pre-service teacher education. The Netherlands: Springer.

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

~ – Indicates classroom teacher co-author
* – Indicates student co-author

Selected Book Chapters

Jao, L., *Rao, N., & *Stewart, A. (2020). Bridging the gap between coursework and practica: Secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ perceptions about their teacher education program. In N. Radakovic & L. Jao (Eds.), Borders in Mathematics Pre-Service Teacher Education (pp. 119-139). Netherlands: Springer.

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 (pp. 255-275). Netherlands: Springer.

~ – Indicates classroom teacher co-author
* – Indicates student co-author

Selected Refereed Conference Presentations

Jao, L., Wiseman, D., & ~Loupelle, C. (2019, June). The READ Dress Project: Student-directed STEAM inquiry. Paper presented at the 2019 National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) Conference, Pasadena, CA.

Wiseman, D. & Jao, L. (2019, June). The READ Dress Project: Student-directed STEAM inquiry and change in practice. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.

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.

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.

*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.

Graduate supervision: 

Please contact me if you would like to know more about my research and/or are interested in working on my projects. I welcome inquiries from all students (undergraduate and graduate).

I also supervise and act as a committee member for graduate students whose research interests overlaps with my areas of expertise and/or current projects. Potential graduate students are invited to get in touch.

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