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 Yasmine Abtahi
 (Principal Investigator) 

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Dr. Yasmine Abtahi is a Full Professor of Mathematics Education in the University of South-East Norway. She began her career as a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada, in 2011. In her PhD study (2013-2016), she studied and criticised aspects of the socio-cultural historical view of Vygotsky on signs, tools and the Zone of Proximal Development, in the context of the teaching and learning of mathematics.

In her current research, Yasmine focuses on ethics of mathematics in relation to social sustainability. More specifically she focuses on epistemological underpinnings and ethics, for the students and the teachers to be selves-in-relations, to each other and to other humans, plants, animals and other things.

This SSHRC funded project is immensely important to her, as it gives voices to students and their parents of diverse cultures as well as to the teachers. Participants will be involved in mutual intercultural dialogues, as a possible opportunity to notice and further reflect on what might be culturally “unfamiliar”, in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

 Richard Barwell


Professor Barwell began his career at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, where he earned a PhD in education.  In 2006, he joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and is currently a full professor and Dean.  He has served on a number of committees and held several positions within the Faculty, including Director of Graduate Studies (Anglophone Sector) from 2012 to 2016.

His research focuses on mathematics education, with particular interest in the role of language in teaching and learning mathematics. This interest first arose prior to his university career, when he taught mathematics in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Recently, he has studied how math education can address climate change.

Ruth Kane


Dr. Ruth Kane is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa where she served as Director of Teacher Education at the University of Ottawa from 2006 – 2011. Prior to moving to Canada in 2006 Ruth Kane served as Director of Teacher Education at Otago University (New Zealand) and Professor of Secondary Education at Massey University (New Zealand). Her research interests lie in the development and evaluation of preservice and inservice teacher education programs including the induction of beginning teachers, teacher professional learning through collaborative inquiry and the preparation of teachers for urban schools.


Dr. Kane has directed three national research projects in New Zealand: Initial teacher Education; The Preparation and Induction of Beginning Secondary Teachers; and, The Status of Teachers and Teaching prior to coming to Canada. Since coming to Canada she has been principal investigator on a number of province-wide evaluations for the Ontario Ministry of Education including the evaluation of the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) and evaluations of the Early Primary Collaborative Inquiry (EPCI) and the Student Work Study (SWST) initiatives. Dr. Kane supports a number of graduate students whose fields of inquiry include teacher education, beginning teacher induction, preparing teachers for urban high schools and teacher professional learning. Before entering teacher education Dr Kane was a secondary teacher in New Zealand and Australia, including teaching on indigenous communities in the far north of Queensland, Australia.

Christine Suurtamm


Dr. Christine Suurtamm is a Full Professor of Mathematics Education and teaches in the areas of mathematics education, assessment and qualitative research. Her research focuses on the complexity of teachers' classroom practice. She is particularly interested in teachers' formative assessment practices as these are opportunities of attending and responding to students' mathematical thinking. Dr. Suurtamm has been the lead researcher on several Ontario Ministry of Education large-scale projects to examine mathematics teaching and learning. She is also Director of the Pi Lab, a research facility supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. She was the Canadian representative on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Board of Directors, the Co-Chair of the Ontario Ministry of Education Early Math Expert Panel, and Co-Chair of several international panels on assessment in mathematics education. She is also the recipient of several teaching and research awards including Excellence in Teaching, the Capital Educator's Award and the University of Ottawa Excellence in Education Award.

Fatima Assaf
(Post-doctoral Scholar)

Dr. Fatima Assaf completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation at the University of Ottawa in 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Christine Suurtamm. Her Ph.D. research was designed to form an in-depth description and understanding of multilingual learners' mathematical learning experiences and meaning-making in a Canadian educational setting. The research was based on a 7-month ethnographic study, and the work was built on a sociocultural framework. The results of the study revealed that multilingual students’ mathematics experiences were shaped by their previous experiences, their interactions with one another, their use of language, and their teacher’s pedagogical moves that promoted deep learning of mathematics and the development of students’ identities. Fatima also coordinated the mathematics education research unit (MERU) at the University of Ottawa for 4 years, and recently worked as a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba. She is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

Athar Firouzian
(Research Assistant)


Athar Firouzian is currently a Ph. D. student in the faculty of education at the University of Ottawa, working under the supervision of Dr. Richard Barwell. She also supports this university's mathematics education research unit (MERU). Athar completed her masters in mathematics Education in 2019 and began her career as a mathematics teacher at elementary schools and an instructor at Farhangian teacher training university in Iran. Her research interests include teachers' professional development, primary mathematics education, and early algebraic thinking.

Kevin Paquette
(Research Assistant)


Kevin Paquette is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Richard Barwell. After completing his B.Ed. in Secondary Mathematics in 2021, he began working at a high school in Montreal where he teaches mathematics, physics, and leadership. His experience with these subjects has guided his research interests towards the role of communication in the development of mathematical understanding in secondary mathematics. Specifically, he is focusing on the way misunderstandings are communicated and addressed in both monologic and dialogic discourse.

Heidi D. Stokmo
(Research Assistant)


Heidi D. Stokmo is currently doing her masters in teacher education at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), with Yasmine Abtahi as her supervisor. Her previous experience includes 10 years as a management specialist for refugee settlement in Norway as well as five years in Tanzania as a project coordinator with a local NGO. 

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