Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

  • MSTE Team at the 25th Anniversary Celebration

    The 25th Anniversary Celebration of MSTE.

  • 7/8 MathOlymPIcs

    Our MathOlymPIcs is a preliminary of Ontario Mathematics Olympics.

  • 9MathMashUp

    Our 9MathMashUp event is for Grade 9 Applied Mathematics students.

  • Science Rendezvous

    Our annual Science Rendezvous takes place in May. Join us.

Mission Statement

The Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Group is a research and development team at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, that is dedicated to improving teaching and learning in the mathematics, science and technology fields in schools and in teacher education.

The Group promotes:

  1. greater awareness of the links that can be made between mathematics, science and technology;
  2. the advancement of accessibility to these fields;
  3. education for social responsibility.

Contact: mste@queensu.ca

Policies and Procedures


Jamie Pyper

Jamie Pyper, Coordinator 
PhD OISE/UofT, MEd Western, B.Ed. UofT, B.Math. Waterloo
Faculty Profile
Professional Profile (Teaching)

Full Members

Peter Chin

Peter Chin
Science, Chemistry
Faculty Profile


Cathy Christie

Cathy Christie (Science)
PhD, MSc, B.Ed.
Faculty Profile


Lynda Colgan

Lynda Colgan
PhD OISE, MEd OISE, B.Ed. UofT, BSc UofT
Faculty Profile


Richard Reeve

Richard Reeve 
Computers in Education, Science
Faculty Profile


Azza Sharkawy
Elementary Science
Faculty Profile

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor
Cross-appointment, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
PhD Harvard, MA Queen's, BA Queen's
Faculty Profile

Current Research

Name: Trajectories of Teacher Efficacy and its Sources
Leader: Jamie Pyper
Additional Resources: PosterPlenary

This mixed method study explored three complete teacher preparation program years with an aggregate of 100 preservice teacher participants. The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001), and open response question data were collected four times each year. The TSES contains three subscales; instructional strategies (IS), student engagement (SE), and classroom management (CM). A combination of repeated-measures ANOVAs over time and constant comparative analysis were used in the analyses of the data for each year.

Name: Professional Literacies with Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science Teacher Candidates
Leader: Jamie Pyper
Additional Resources: PowerPointPosterPlenary

This study explores the nature of professional literacies and their acquisition by primary/junior and intermediate/senior teacher candidates of Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science during teacher preparation curriculum courses. Two questions guide this study: 1) What is the nature of the professional literacies evident in teacher candidates’ discourse? and 2) What curricular program elements facilitate the development of teacher candidates’ professional literacies?

Name: Using Lesson Study to Enhance Preservice and Inservice Mathematics and Science Learning
Leader: Peter Chin

This project supports the efforts of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) in implementing lesson study with some of their mathematics and science teachers, and also examines the possibilities of using lesson study with teacher candidates. Our hope is that over time, lesson study could become a viable professional development alternative to the traditional workshops that do not often meet the individual needs of teachers. The end result is the improvement of mathematics and science teaching and learning, the modelling of a professional development approach that places teachers as central players in their own growth, and a venue to explore the possibilities of such a professional development approach in partnership with our B.Ed. teacher candidates.

Name: The Knowledge Building International Project on Climate Change
Leader: Azza Sharkawy

This project will explore the use of an international on-line discussion forum in the development of an elementary science curriculum unit. The purpose of the unit is to promote student understanding of the complexities associated with the Global Climate Change (GCC) issue. This curriculum project responds to the emphasis now being placed by the Ontario Curriculum for Science and Technology, Grades 1-8 (2007) on advancing student understanding of the interrelationships between science, technology, society and the environment (STSE). This curriculum project is being pursued as a collaborative project with Therese Laferriere at the University of Laval and will include schools from: Norway, Quebec, Catalonia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Brazil and the USA. Students involved in this project will work on understanding the GCC issue from both local and global perspectives.

Name: Exploiting the Utility of Mathematics and Science by Developing a Technology Curriculum Unit for Grade 8
Leader: Azza Sharkawy

This project will explore both the theoretical and practical links between mathematics, science, and technology education by capitalising on the way in which pupils learning in a purposeful technological activity, that is, designing and making, can be enhanced by the utility of science and mathematics. When generating, developing and communicating design ideas pupils are required to think: (a) mathematically (e.g., identify and work with the geometry within a structure, proportion, measuring); (b) scientifically (e.g., analyse factors affecting the stability and rigidity of a structure); and (c) technologically (e.g., make marketing, constructional, technical, and aesthetic design decisions). The project will: 1. Identify the mathematics embedded in a technology curriculum unit in which pupils design and make a large statue of a creature that can be friendly (and welcome visitors to a classroom during the day) or fierce (and deter intruders to the classroom after dark); 2. Identify the science embedded in the technology curriculum unit; 3. Provide an exemplar of how teaching, learning and assessment in the three subjects can be linked and support one another; 4. Ground the unit in appropriate learning theory.

Past Research

Name: Creating a Hawkins Centre of Learning
Leader: Skip Hills

The purpose of this project is to establish a centre dedicated to providing ongoing professional development and support for elementary teachers. Initially, the Centre’s efforts will be directed towards a small group of interested teachers. Our activities will be informed by the work of Frances and David Hawkins who saw science, teaching and learning as investigative arts. As a result, the project will involve the creation and development of a new kind of teacher centre committed to respecting the accomplishments, interests and needs of participating teachers. Not only will the Centre contain inviting and engaging spaces for inquiry, or “messing about”, it will also be equipped with varied resources, chosen so as to help nurture a playful, experimental attitude toward teaching and learning. One of the principal aims of the Centre is to engender a genuine understanding and enjoyment of the topics explored. The Centre’s workshops will involve using and revising existing activities and resources as well as creating new ones for messing about. Participants will be invited to try out some of these activities, to adapt or revise these them, or to create new ones, in order to better serve their own purposes. Dialogue and conversation will enable members of the community to share their successes and emerging understanding as well as their confusions and frustrations. With the permission of those participating, workshop activities will be documented and made available to others with similar interests. The Centre and its resources will be open to teachers, pupils, faculty members, teacher candidates, and graduate students, among others. Other Hawkins’ Centres are in the process of being developed in the United States and other countries opening the door to new opportunities for international cooperation.

Name: Math-Towers
Leader: Geoffrey Roulet
URL: http://www.math-towers.ca/

Math Towers logo: A castle on a cliff, and the text "mathtowers.ca".Math-Towers (www.math-towers.ca) is a Website providing open-ended mathematical explorations for students in Grades 7 and 8. Each exploration is initiated by a challenge delivered to the visiting class by the Lord or Lady of the castle. The class, working in small groups, is then sent off to a tower where they are provided with laboratories containing interactive tools that support investigation and places to record their observations and conjectures. In addition, in the tower hall beside the laboratory door, each participating group has a scroll where they may publish their ideas for sharing with the class and through which they can discuss their understanding of the problem. Student work is saved so that participants may visit the tower multiple times, climbing up the floors as they solve aspects of the problem, and finally emerge on the tower ramparts to be invited to now try the initial challenge.

Name: The Computer Science Teacher - International Extensions
Leader: William Egnatoff
URL: http://compsciteacher.educ.queensu.ca/

The Ontario Computer Science Resource Centre, http://compsciteacher.educ.queensu.ca/, a free, subscription-based database of secondary school teaching resources, will be adapted for international use through development of author guidelines and templates, editing of the user interface, refinement of the content management system for editors and site managers, and site upgrading to current programming standards.

Name: Meeting the Needs of Children with Mathematics Difficulties
Leader: Joan McDuff

Since the introduction of a new mathematics curriculum in Ontario (Ontario Ministry of Education, 1997), conversations with service and pre-service teachers suggest that schools face increasing challenges teaching the subject of mathematics. Of special concern to both groups of teachers are the challenges that the new curriculum presents to children who experience difficulty learning certain mathematical concepts, and the teachers’ level of confidence in their own understanding of these students’ needs. Using concrete material is fundamental to learning and provides a means of representing concepts, big ideas, and student understanding. This project will produce curriculum materials to meet some of the challenges faced by elementary teachers and teacher candidates. The aims of the proposed project are: (1) to identify the nature of the mathematical difficulties experienced by children in the primary and junior grades, (2) to identify strategies that will help these children overcome their difficulties, (3) to explore the knowledge of classroom teachers and teacher candidates about the challenges that characterize the poor mathematical development of children with math difficulties in order to support the development of curriculum materials that will respond to their teaching needs, and (4) to produce a series of curriculum materials to help teachers (classroom and pre-service) map effective curricular and instructional accommodations onto specific difficulties in math experienced by students.

Projects and Actvities
Please visit the MSTE Projects & Activities page for more information  

Executive meeting dates for review of funding requests; the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Note: funding requests to be considered at an MSTE Executive meeting must be received by MSTE by the second Wednesday of each month.

Donations for External Activities


Activities must further teaching, learning, and the goals of the MSTE Group.

Application Procedure

Individual requests will not normally exceed $1000.00. Submit request with a detailed description of the event/activity, rationale for the funds, dates and location(s), contact details for the person who will responsible for the funds, and budget details.

Send funding request to mste@queensu.ca.