New Canada Research Chair at SFU to bridge education gap between high school and post-secondary mathematics

SFU associate dean of education Rina Zazkis was named the new Research Chair in STEM Teaching and Learning at an announcement last December in Toronto by the Honourable Kristy Duncan, minister of science.

STEM is an acronym representing science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  The Canadian government and educators are striving to encourage more students to pursue these academic subjects.

Zazkis, who is also an SFU professor of mathematics education, will focus her research on helping to improve training for high school mathematics teachers. The chair’s mandate is to help bridge the gap between mathematics taught at the undergraduate level and high schools across Canada.  

“My research program will help strengthen the preparation of high school mathematics teachers,” says Zazkis. “The Canada Research Chairs program will provide an innovative contribution to mathematics teacher education, which in turn will contribute to the quality of mathematics teaching and the successful experiences of learners.”

SFU education professor Nathalie Sinclair, Research Chair in Tangible Mathematics Learning and SFU health sciences professor Mark Brockman, Research Chair in Viral Pathogenesis and Immunity both had their positions renewed.

At the event, Duncan announced more than $173 million in funding to support 203 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 48 post-secondary institutions across the country.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support talented researchers whose hard work will improve our scientific understanding and strengthen Canada's reputation for research excellence,” says Duncan. “The chairs’ efforts will also provide us with the evidence needed to inform decisions that help us build a vibrant society and a strong middle class.”