Anila Asghar

Associate Professor
Education Room 364
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 094194
anila.asghar [at] (subject: message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Science education; integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (iSTEM) education; evolution education; science education reform in diverse contexts; problem-based learning; interactions among religion, science, culture, and education; environmental education; nature of science; conceptual understanding; cognitive and emotional development; socioconstructivist and sociocultural approaches to learning science; teacher education; curriculum development and assessment; educational leadership; research methods; peace studies; Islamic education; doctoral education reform.

Research project:

Science Education Project - Chantier 7: Training Cycle 1 Quebec Science and Technology Teachers to Diagnose and Develop Students’ Conceptual Understanding, Problem-Solving, and Technology Skills

Hannah Chestnutt

Faculty Lecturer
Education Room 349
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 094561
hannah.chestnutt [at] (subject: message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Educational equity, science education, mathematics education, social network analysis, knowledge co-production, knowledge brokering.

Research projects:

Understanding Networks of Support for Under-represented STEM Students

Network-Building in Sustainability Research

Allison Gonsalves

Assistant Professor
Education Room 357
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 094959
allison.gonsalves [at] (subject: message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Science education, gender studies, sociocultural issues in science education, teacher education, identity studies, informal education.

Research projects:

Enactments of Ambitious Science Teaching in Informal Contexts as a Means to Support Pre-Service Teacher and Minority Students’ Identity Trajectories into Science Teaching and Learning

Identifying Discourses that Impact Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Enactments of Ambitious Science Pedagogies

Talking About Gender and Physics: Supporting Female Students’ Identity Trajectories into Physics

Limin Jao

Associate Professor
Education Room 317
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 089696
limin.jao [at] (subject: Email%20from%20SMERG%20Website) (Email)

At-risk youth; mathematics education; pedagogy; pre-service and in-service teacher development; professional development; student engagement; teacher beliefs; teacher education; teacher identity; teacher practices.

Mathematics Education Wiki

Research projects:

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

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

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

Understanding the nature of change of secondary mathematics pre-service teachers’ beliefs: Implications of a multi-faceted teacher education program / Comprendre la nature du changement des croyances des futurs enseignants de mathématiques du secondaire : Les retombées d’un programme de formation à plusieurs facettes

Marta Kobiela

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director - PhD
Education Room 356
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 094466
marta.kobiela [at] (subject: email%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Mathematics learning and teaching, geometry and spatial mathematics, co-development of disciplinary knowledge and practice in classrooms, integration of STEM disciplines to support student learning.

Research projects:

Collaborating for Success: Practice-based Learning Communities for Improvement in Secondary Mathematics Teaching

Examining Facilitation Practices and Professional Vision of Coaches of Prospective Teachers

Supporting Prospective Teachers to Engage Students in Constructing and Reasoning about Mathematical Definitions / Soutenir les enseignants en formation à guider des élèves dans la construction et le raisonnement sur les définitions mathématiques

Elizabeth Patitsas

Assistant Professor
Education Room 352
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 00288
elizabeth.patitsas [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Computer science education, gender issues in STEM, equity issues in STEM, sociology of computer science, science and technology studies, higher education, teacher practices, policy analysis, mixed methods research. Cross appointed (50/50) with the School of Computer Science.

Personal website

Annie Savard

Associate Professor
Education Room 309
(514) 398-4527 Ext. 094455
annie.savard [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Mathematics education, learning and teaching probability, ethnomathematics, critical thinking and decision-making, elementary school gambling.

Personal Website

Research projects:

Observing Teachers: Mathematics Pedagogy in Regions of Canada / Observer les enseignants: la pédagogie en mathématiques dans les régions du Canada

Surviving in the North: How to Bridge Inuit Culture with Mathematics / La survie au Nord: comment créer un pont entre la culture Inuite et les mathématiques

Supporting Teachers in Developing Conceptual Understanding on Multiplicative Structures in Elementary Schools / Supporter les enseignants dans le développement de la compréhension conceptuelle des structures multiplicatives dans la résolution de problèmes au primaire

Alexandre Soares Cavalcante

Supervisor: Annie Savard

I am a Brazilian PhD student in mathematics education at McGill since 2016. Prior to the PhD, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics education (which led to a teaching license) and Industrial Management Engineering. During this period, I got the chance to study in South Korea (where the photo on the left was taken) as part of an exchange program with Korea University. For my master's degree in Social and Human Sciences, I investigated the ways in which young scientists in the field of Ecology perceived and produced mathematics. As for the PhD, my research will look at financial literacy education and its connections to mathematics and culture. I love learning new languages and exploring different parts of the world.


Vandana Chandrasekhar

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela


Saba Din

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela

saba.din [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I love math, and I'm passionate about improving math education! My doctoral research examines ways to support novice math teacher-educators in developing pedagogical practices for teaching future elementary math teachers. Outside of my PhD studies, I work as a Mathematics Educational Consultant in Quebec, advocating for and collaborating with dedicated educators to provide students with positive, rich learning experiences that deepen understanding and foster the love of math. I've had various roles throughout my journey, including teacher, graduate student, research assistant, and university course instructor. I'm excited to continue my learning, as there's always much to learn, reflect upon, grow from, and try!  LinkedIn | Twitter

Sahar Fazeli

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

sahar.fazeli [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I am a doctoral student in the department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. I am also vice-president and co-founder of a non-profit organization for children with cancer registered in Canada, named “Espoir Pour Enfants Atteints de cancer”. My doctoral research looks at applying arts-based approaches such as writing stories from children's perspective to support children with chronic illnesses (such as cancer) to help them have a better quality of life, and to support them in enhancing their well-being and academic performance.


Azadeh Javaherpour



Ravinder Kumar



Stéphanie Lafortune

Supervisor: Annie Savard

Stéphanie Lafortune is a PhD Student in Education at McGill University with extensive teaching experience. As a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educator in an elementary school of Montreal, she is particularly interested in developing and implementing innovative teaching strategies and an interdisciplinary curriculum at this level. Her doctoral research investigates the ways teachers can design learning environments that would help students optimally develop disciplinary knowledge, attitudes and skills (e.g. problem solving, collaboration and creativity). She also holds a master's degree in Didactics from the University of Quebec in Montreal that investigated the role of inhibition in science learning.

Maria-Josée Bran Lopez

Supervisor: Limin Jao

maria-josee.branlopez [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I'm a PhD student in Math Education since 2017. 
I've always loved Math. I find the logic and complexity in it fascinating. Naturally, I did my undergrad in Mathematics. However, it wasn't until I got the opportunity to work in a school that I realized education was truly my passion. I completed a Masters degree in the Teaching of Mathematics at Concordia, and then started working at at Cegep as a Mathematics Monitor. This position was created after teachers noticed an increase of students struggling in Calculus due to a lack of pre-calculus concepts and skills. There are visible gaps once students take Calculus and that's what I want to do research on. Since Cegep is such a unique system in Quebec, my hope is to understand students' difficulties and help teachers adjust their practices accordingly.
Aside of being a full time student, I love traveling with my husband. I love food and baking. I'm also a geeky person at heart. From Harry Potter to LOTR, from Gilmore Girls to Stranger Things... I enjoy good stories that show you what life really means. 

Neil Macintosh

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

neil.macintosh [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I teach Grade 10/11 students at Pontiac High School in Shawville 3.5 hours from Montreal. I have taught the maths, the sciences, English, MRE, & History for 28 years in Canada at the secondary and college levels, in Malawi with CTF- PO, and in Swaziland with WUSC.  The time flies. My wife and I have raised a family of 3 - all adults now. My research interests are what will help the average (me) science teacher better reach the students and motivate them to do their best, whether or not they will follow the science pathway at the college level. It starts with whatever "motivation" is, so there is a fair bit of psychology in the mix. I am excited to be back in school, again.


Dominic Manuel

Supervisors: Annie Savard & David A. Reid

dominic.manuel [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I am a Ph.D. candidate, course lecturer, and research assistant in mathematics education. My current research focuses on studying teaching practices and the co-construction of knowledge between teachers and students with inquiry-based learning instruction (including problem solving) in mathematics. My other areas or interest includes: meeting the learning needs of mathematically gifted and talented students; developing mathematical creativity in students; implementing challenging rich tasks in mathematics classrooms; and using information and communication technologies (ICT) in classrooms. Since the beginning of my masters in 2007, I participated in multiple research projects, wrote and co-wrote articles, and presented at local, provincial, national, and international conferences in all my areas of interest and other areas. I also worked with teachers in local schools, supporting them with meeting the learning needs of students who needed extra challenges in mathematics. 


Ebenezer Mbachu

Supervisors: Marta Kobiela & Allison Gonsalves


Heather McPherson

Supervisor: Anila Asghar


Scosha Merovitz

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela

scosha.merovitz [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

After 15 years of teaching mathematics at Bishop's University, I decided to pursue a PhD in Mathematics Education. Now, in addition to teaching in the Mathematics Department, I also teach math methods courses to pre-service teachers. My research interests interests include communities of practice and using video to improve practice. I believe mathematics for children should be brought off the page (or the screen) and into our 3-dimensional, life-sized world. In addition to being passionate about all things mathematical, I love yoga, cooking and eating and, especially, sharing food with family and friends.

Ali Mahmoodi Motlagh

Supervisor: Annie Savard

I started my career in 2005 as a mathematics teacher in Iran. Seven years later, I began my journey and came to Canada. I got my master’s degree in Didactics of Mathematics from Laval University. This was quite a challenging period of my life as I had to propel my research in a language that I had just started to learn seriously. It was a fantastic experience, thanks to my supervisor and my friends. The final product of my M.A. was a practical framework to evaluate and compare two textual resources based on their potential to improve students’ geometrical reasoning and proving.

I came to Montreal in 2018 and started my Ph.D. in Educational Studies- Math/Science at McGill University. My research interests lie in critical thinking, reasoning and proving and critical pedagogy. Exploring how students could improve their persistence in critical thinking to ultimately become more socially responsible individuals in their real life is what I’m doing my research on. If you are also interested in these research areas, it will be great if this could give us an opportunity to meet with each other, talk about our common areas of research and enrich our subject-knowledge.


Harini Narayanan

Supervisor: Anila Asghar



Zachary Parker

Supervisors: Marta KobielaBronwen Low


Rebecca Pearce

Supervisors: Limin Jao & Dawn Wiseman

I started out my education and career in science research (conservation genetics and molecular oncology) before entering the field of education. Since 2006 I have worked as a science teacher at Villa Maria High School in Montreal, was the science department head for several years, and am the profile leader for development of our new Health Science curriculum. As a new Ph.D. student, my current research interests lie in math and science education, specifically with the elementary math education of children who were born prematurely. Ideally I would like to investigate and construct targeted intervention strategies for this group of children, and help educate pre-service and practicing teachers about the mathematical difficulties experience by preterm children as a group. I love to travel with my husband and two daughters, eat (dessert in particular), compete in endurance events like triathlons, and read.

Emily Sprowls

Supervisors: Allison Gonsalves & Blane Harvey


I have been engaged with formal and informal environmental science education for 20(!) years, and am now researching the impacts of collaborative learning among students, teachers and environmental scientists. After my master’s work on marine conservation education in Colombia, I spent 15 years learning from my wonderful high school science students in Indiana and Connecticut, USA. I have enjoyed working with the National School Reform Faculty in collaboration with teachers from Michigan to Mexico. Now, I am excited to learn from the very environmentally engaged youth here in Quebec. Outside of McGill, I help with science outreach for the Brun microbiology lab at the Université de Montréal, I volunteer in community gardens, and I spend a lot of time watching my sons play soccer.

Constantinos Yanniris

Supervisors: Anila Asghar & Ralf St.Clair

constantinos.yanniris [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

The only chance for democratic societies to contain the rising pace of ecological degradation is to create environmentally literate citizens. During the last decades, environmental education was introduced in various national contexts through a multitude of different approaches. My research probes for models of environmental education which were proven to enhance students’ level of environmental literacy. Then, it will seek for the institutional, structural and pedagogical characteristics that constitute effective environmental education systems. The aim is to derive a positive set of attributes that will contribute to the discourse on sustainability education for the next generation.


Noor Affana

Supervisor: Annie Savard



Anita Basso


Isabella Boutros

Supervisor: Limin Jao

isabella.boutros [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Prior to beginning my masters in Education and Society this fall, I was teaching middle school science and 9th grade history at an independent school in Washington, D.C. My experience teaching science and my desire to do better and give my students authentic scientific experiences is what brought me to McGill. I am excited to learn more about, and hopefully improve, my science teaching practice and I look forward to these next two years at McGill! My main interests lie within teaching inquiry-based science and finding ways to motivate students to interact with the world and become passionate about science.


Ashley Cameron

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela



Cheryl Cantin

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela


Katherine Davey

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

katherine.davey [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

After having worked  in various roles in education, including teacher and consultant, for 20 years, I decided that I would like to deepen my understanding of teaching and learning about science and have chosen to do so as a part-time Masters student in this program. In addition to pursuing my studies, I am an education consultant for science and technology at the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and have been since 2006. My current areas of interest are the interaction between theory and practice and professional learning for in-service teachers.  Twitter

Michael Deutsch

Supervisor: Annie Savard

mike.deutsch [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I am an educator, both formal and informal, in the world of children's computing. My research at McGill explores the use of ambitious teaching methods in K-8 instruction of programming and computational thinking. I am also a volunteer teacher, curriculum developer, and board member for Montreal-based Kids Code Jeunesse.   Twitter | Blog 


Tessa Diamond


Paige Fairlie

Supervisor: Limin Jao

paige.fairlie [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I am a recent graduate from the B.Ed Secondary Mathematics program at McGill University. This is my first year in the MA Ed and Society (Math Education) program. I am also teaching in the Lester B Pearson School Board teaching high school science and math. I am interested in collaborative learning in the mathematics classroom as well as teacher education, specifically the practices of high quality teaching. I also coach competitive swimming at Pointe Claire Swim Club. 

Horatiu Halmaghi 

Advisor: Elizabeth Patitsas

horatiu.halmaghi [at] (subject: Message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Over the last few years I have taught computer programming to adults, an experience which led me here! In my grad work I am interested in exploring possible infusions between computer science and anti-oppressive education, and in investigating the social and environmental issues connected to computer science education and to computing more generally.


Amirhossein Hosseinipour


Kelly Kim

Supervisors: Limin Jao & Philip Howard

kelly.kim2 [at] (subject: message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

Hi! Glad you found me on this part of the internet. I've taught math and physics for 1.5 years in the U.K. before starting my M.A. in Education and Society. This experience as a teacher and the opportunity I had during my undergrad as an R.A. for Limin motivated me to take this path in academia, and I'm both excited and nervous to find out where this will take me. My main interests at the moment are sociocultural issues in science and math education, equity and diversity, teacher support, and teacher education. Pronouns: she/her

Jinxiu (Monica) Liu

Supervisor: Annie Savard

Jinxiu.liu [at] (subject: message%20from%20SMERG%20website) (Email)

I am a graduate student at McGill, majored in Second Language Education. My fields of interests include the application of educational technologies, Mobile-assisted language learning and Computer-assisted language learning. My currently research topic is about blended language learning (French and English). I will look at the Integration of technology in the practice of language classroom teaching, the challenges students are facing and possible solutions from students’ perspective. I am very passionate and excited about this research. I hope my research findings could contribute to the building of a more satisfactory and effective language learning environment for language learners. Oh, besides, I also enjoy biking and doing yoga!


Jessica Patel


Amélie Poulin

Supervisor: Annie Savard

amelie.poulin [at] (Email)

In addition to being a teacher, Amelie Poulin is a graduate student at McGill University. She is currently working with Annie Savard as her supervisor in the MA Thesis, Education and Society in the mathematics and science department. She is also involved in the Science and Mathematics Education Research Group (SMERG), a member of the Lemonade Stand Lab (research group with core common principles including the idea of seeking to educate, research, collaborate and network through financial literacy education and technology), and works as a researcher at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations (CIRANO).

Her main interests include financial literacy and teacher education, but also the science of teaching and learning, the way that humans develop their thinking and reasoning, and didactics of mathematics. She wishes to cleverly contribute to the evolution of the education system with her research findings.


Adriana Ruffini


Kristen Stecher

Advisor: Marta Kobiela

kristen.stecher [at] (Email)

Growing up I always said I would never do a Master’s, so how did I get here? Simply put, I was not ready to leave research, and have always had a passion for education. Fresh off of my HBSc. PHY-MAT I am ready to hit the ground running, and look forward to exploring the world of physics education research. My research focus is classroom-setting physics, where I hope to bring cutting-edge physics and education together as one. I am excited to pursue these ideas here in DISE, where my SMERG journey begins.


Audrey Taylor



Kathleen Walsh


Julianna Zelt

Supervisor: Allison Gonsalves

Julianna.Zelt [at] (Email)

Julianna holds a Bachelors of Education in Secondary Science and Technologies. Her research interests surround informal science talk, digital story telling, youth science identity formation and out of school time learning. She is currently working for the Science Outreach Coordinator at McGill as an inquiry-based pedagogical consultant for various outreach groups at McGill.


Xiyao Zhao



Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

PhD 2019 Implementing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): A Policy Ethnography of Taiwan’s Environmental Education Act
Eun-Ji Amy Kim Supervisors: Anila Asghar & Steven Jordan PhD 2018 The relationships at play in integrating Indigenous knowledges-sciences (IK-S) in science curriculum: A case study of Saskatchewan K-12 science curriculum
Anjali Abraham

Supervisor: Allison Gonsalves

PhD 2016

Structures and construction: A sociocultural study of Indian and Canadian science teachers' discourses in a period of educational reform

Kathleen Usher

Supervisors: David Dillon & Gale Seiler



Teaching for a healthy planet: the power and potential of a non-traditional field experience in environmental education on developing teachers' practice as agents of change

Terry Wan Jung Lin

Supervisors: Marta Kobiela & Gale Seiler




Lerona Lewis

Supervisor: Lynn-Butler Kisber



Caribbean immigrant parents' involvement in their children's education in Francophone elementary schools in Montreal

Elena Arkhipova

Supervisor: Annie Savard

PhD 2014

How elementary students learn to mathematically analyze word problems: the case of addition and subtraction

Kenneth Elliott

Supervisors: Anila Asghar & Brian Alters



The implementation of applied science and technology in Québec: a descriptive mixed methods study


Phillippe Turineck

Supervisor: Annie Savard MA 2019  
Sandra Frechette

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela & Alain Breuleux

MA 2019 The evolution of views from a teacher perspective about participation in a mathematics professional learning community: the project that has made math more than math

Hailey Iacono

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela

MA 2019 Supporting pre-service mathematics teachers to notice and understand the practice of positioning students competently

Azadeh Javaherpour

Supervisor: Annie Savard MA 2018 A comparative study of Quebec & Ontario's curricula in financial literacy education: presence, components and aims
Saba Din

Supervisors: Kara Jackson & Annie Savard



Supporting mathematics teacher-educators' development of practice-based pedagogies

Nika Ardekani-Djoneidi

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

MA 2014 Project: Collage on scientific inquiry
Ying Huang

Supervisor: Anila Asghar

MA 2014

Science education reform in Confucian learning cultures: policymakers and science teachers’ perspective on policy and practice in Taiwan

Michael Jarry-Shore

Supervisor: Marta Kobiela



An exploration of pre-service elementary teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching

Dominique Martins

Supervisor: Gale Seiler



The development of interdisciplinary teaching approaches among pre-service science and mathematics teachers

Natasha Lamb

Supervisor: Annie Savard MA 2010

The impact of participation in an online professional community on the development of elementary pre- service teachers' knowledge of teaching mathematics

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