Dr. Elaine Simmt works in mathematics education. She began her career as a secondary school teacher of mathematics, chemistry and physics and completed doctoral studies in mathematics education under the supervision of Dr. Tom Kieren.
Inquiries from potential graduate students in mathematics education and those interested in exploring methods for classroom-based research are most welcome.
Dr. Simmt also serves as the Director of the Master of Education in Educational Studies (MES) program and the Co-Director of the Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education.
Dr. Simmt's research is focused in mathematics education. In particular, she explores teaching and learning as understood through the frame of complexity theory. In 2000 she and her colleagues, Dr. Lynn Gordon (University of Alberta) and Dr. Jo Towers (University of Calgary), were awarded a SSHRC research grant to study "The Ethics of Mathematics Knowing-in-Action". As part of this study she spent a year teaching grade 7 mathematics. Over the course of the year she was able to create an environment in which students, teachers and researchers interacted around mathematics within the context of the prescribed program of studies. From this research she has considered questions such as, teacher curiosity, explanations in mathematics, assessing student understanding, attending to diversity and reforming mathematics education through local actions.
A second and complementary area of study is centred in teacher education, specifically mathematics-for-teaching. With Brent Davis (University of British Columbia) and the support of an Initiative on the New Economy grant from SSHRC, Davis and Simmt have been exploring mathematics-for-teaching through an in-service education program for k-12 teachers. She and Brent Davis have been applying organization principles from complex adaptive systems in their study of the emergent learning systems that are in classrooms. This work has led to explorations in the mathematics teachers (need to) know.
In her most recent work, Dr Simmt has joined Canadian colleagues, Glanfield (UofA) and Mgombelo (Brock) in a series of international research and development projects in Tanzania. Their work, to explore possibilities for mathematics teacher development in rural and remote communities, has been funded by two SSHRC Partnership Development Grants. It is being done in collaboration with Halai and Kajoro from The Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University East Africa, Makombe and Msabila from Mzumbe University, TZ and Wangeleja from the Tanzania Institute of Education, TZ. Non-governmental partners include McIntyre from the Tanbur African Aid Society, CA and Maganga from the Partners for Health, Education and Environment.
School-based research has led to Elaine Simmt's interest in investigating research methods and designs suitable for studying the complex and contextual phenomena of teaching and learning.
Dr Simmt received the 2011 Friends of MCATA award from the Mathematics Council of Alberta.
Dr Simmt was awarded the 2012 McCalla Professorship from the University of Alberta
EDSE 337 Curriculum and Teaching for Secondary Mathematics Minors
EDSE 437/438 Curriculum and Teaching in Secondary Mathematics
EDSE 511 Research Design in Secondary Education
EDSE 539 Research Issues in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
EDSE 540 Examining Tasks, Curricula and Programs
EDSE 608 Cognition and Curriculum
EDSE 620 Doctoral Research Seminar
Research - Publications
Selected Research Studies and Publications
Simmt, E. & Kieren, T. (2015). Three “moves” in enactivist research: a reflection. ZDM–The International Journal on mathematics education 47(2), pp. 307-317. 10.1007/s11858-015-0680-9
Metz, M. & Simmt, E. (2015). Researching mathematical experience from the perspective of a second-person empathic observer. ZDM–The International Journal on mathematics education 47(2), pp. 197-209.
Simmt, E. (2014). Educating for citizenship in school mathematics. In L. Gearon (Ed.) Learning to teach citizenship in the secondary school, pp. 266-278. Oxon: Routledge.
Davis, B, Simmt, E. (2014). Perspectives on complex systems in mathematics learning. In L. English and David Kirshner (Eds.) Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg
Simmt, E. (2014). Commentary: the nineties. Selected writings from the Journal of the Mathematics Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association Celebrating 50 years (1962 – 2012) of delta-K. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, North Carolina.
Davis, B. & Simmt, E. (2013). Complexity in mathematics education. Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education. Stephen Lerman (Ed.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg. DOI 10.1007/SpingerReference_313207.
Davis, B, Simmt, E. (2013) Complexity in mathematics education. Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education. Stephen Lerman (Ed.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg. DOI 10.1007/SpingerReference_313207. http://www.springerreference.com/index/chapterbid/313207
Proulx, J, & Simmt, E (2013). Enactivism in mathematics education: moving toward a re-conceptualization of learning and knowledge. Education, Sciences and Society, 4 (1), 59-79.
Simmt, E., Sookochoff, S., McFeetors, J., Mason, R. (2012). Curriculum development to promote visualisation and mathematical reasoning. In S. Norris and L. Norris (Eds.) Interpretation and Critical Appraisal of Text in Mathematics and Science, pp.147-164. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Bieseigel, M. & E. Simmt (2012). Formation of mathematics graduate students’ mathematician-as-teacher identity. For the Learning of Mathematics, 32(1), pp. 34-39.
Proulx, J. and Simmt, E. (2011). Using research to question hegemonic structures in teacher education. In T. Falkenberg and H. Smitts (Eds.) The Question of Evidence in Research in Teacher Education in the Context of Teacher Education Program Review in Canada (pp. 215 -230), University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. http://www.umanitoba.ca/education/TEResearch/Book%202010%20(Volume%202).pdf
Simmt, E. (2011). Teacher Expertise Explored as Mathematics for Teaching. In Li, Y. & Kaiser, G. (Eds.). Expertise in Mathematics Instruction: An International Perspective. pp. 151-165, Springer.
Simmt, E. (2009). What I learned from my student’s thinking. Delta-K 47(1), pp. 16-20.
Proulx, J., E. Simmt, M. Bieseigel, H. Miranda. (2009). Rethinking the teaching of systems of linear equations. Mathematics Teacher 102(7), pp. 526-533. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (3300 words).
Towers, J. & E. Simmt, (2007). The teacher’s responsibility in whole-class debriefing of mathematical activity. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education 7 (2/3), 231-255.
Sookochoff, S., E. Simmt & D. Reid. (2007). Teacher/researcher and the reasoning outcomes in Math 20 Pure. Delta-K 44(2), 11-19.
Miranda, H., M. Beisiegel, E. Simmt, B. Davis & D. Sumara. (2006). Consciousness, collectivity and culture: Experiences of intimacy in mathematics learning. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 4 (2), 121-135.
Davis, B. & E. Simmt. (2006). Mathematics-for-teaching: An ongoing investigation of the mathematics that teachers (need to) know. Educational Studies in Mathematics 61(3), pp. 293 – 319.
Other Refereed Contributions
Davis, B., E. Simmt, & D. Sumara (2006). Mathematics for teaching: The case of multiplication and division. In J. Novotna, H. Moraova, M. Kratka & N. Stehlikova (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 385-392). Prague, Czech Republic: IGPME.
Davis, B. & E. Simmt. (2005) An ongoing study of the mathematics teachers (need to) know. In G. Lloyd, M. Wilson, J. Wilkins & S. Behm (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics (p. 7 pages). Roanoke, Virginia, USA: PME-NA.
Namukasa, I. & E. Simmt. (2005). Paying mathematical attention. In G. Lloyd, M. Wilson, J. Wilkins & S. Behm (Eds.), Proceedings: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics (pp. 35 -37). Roanoke, Virginia, USA: PME-NA.
Simmt, E. & Davis, B. (2004). Assessing Teacher Knowledge in Action. In D. McDougall and J. Ross (Eds.) Proceedings of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 1357-1361). Toronto: OISE.
Simmt, E. (2010). Pencils and crayons. Teaching Children Mathematics, 17 (2) , pp. 64-67.
Kieren, T. & Simmt, E. (2009). Brought forth in bringing forth: the inter-actions and products of a collective learning system. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education 6(2), pp. 20-27.
Proulx, J., Simmt, E. and Towers, J. (2009). Enactivism in Mathematics Education. 2009. In Tzekaki, M., Kaldrimidou, M. & Sakonidis, C. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 33rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 1, pp. 1-249 – 1-252. Thessaloniki, Greece: PME. (1634 words)
Begg, A., Dawson, A.J., Mgombelo, J. and Simmt, E. (2009). In Tzekaki, M., Kaldrimidou, M. & Sakonidis, C. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 33rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 1, pp. 1-264 – 1-265. Thessaloniki, Greece: PME. (2401 words)
Davis, B., E. Simmt & D. Sumara. (2006). Complexity research and mathematics education. In J. Novotna, H. Moraova, M. Kratka & N. Stehlikova (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Conference of the International Group of the Psychology of Mathematics Education (p. 206). Prague, Czech Republic: IGPME.
Simmt, E. (2008). What courses could or should mathematics departments offer to graduate programs in mathematics education? In P. Lljidehl (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2007 Meeting of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group. Burnaby, BC: CMESG (pp. 161-163).
Simmt, E., & K. Nolan. (2006). Socio-cultural dimensions of mathematics learning. In P. Lljidehl (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2005 Meeting of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group. Burnaby, BC: CMESG (6800 words).
Davis, B, & E. Simmt. (2005). "Mathématiques pour l'enseignement": Une recherche logitudinale sur les connaissances mathématiques des ensignants. In F Caron (Ed.), Proceedings: Affronter la complexité (pp. 7 - 21). Quebec, Quebec: Université Laval.
Simmt, E. The illusion of linearity in trends in secondary education. (2004). In DeBrock, D., Isoda, M., Cruz, J., Gagatis, A., Simmt, E. (Eds.). Proceedings of ICME-10 Topic Study Group 2: New Developments and Trends in Secondary Mathematics Education (pp.135-140). Copenhagen, DK.
Gadanidis, G., E. Simmt, G. Sterenberg & V. Tumanov. (2004). Mathematical literature. Proceedings of the Mathematics as Story Conference, University of Western Ontario and the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, pp. 62-65.
Simmt, E. (1998). Teaching practices project. Report to Alberta Education.
Simmt, E. (2009). The Diploma Examination and the Role of Communication in Mathematics Literacy. Invited panellist Mathematics Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association Fall Leadership Symposium. October 22, 2009. Co-panellists included president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Minister of Education.
Davis, B & Simmt, E (2008). The complexity of mathematics teachers’ knowing: from certainty to uncertainty: from closed definitions to open definitions. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, April 10, 2008, Salt Lake City, UT. Invited plenary.
Simmt, E., Xu, B. (co-chairs) (2008). “Topic Study Group III: New developments and trends in lower secondary education.” International Congress for Mathematics Education, July, 2008. Monterrey, Mexico. Invited to present and to co-chair this session.
Simmt, E. (2008). “Formation mathématique des enseignants de mathématiques/The mathematical education of teachers of mathematics.” Invited panel. The Second Canada-France Mathematics Congress, Montreal, Canada.
Simmt, E. (2007). “How children come to learn mathematics.” Invited keynote for the Mathematics Summer Institute for Alberta Teachers, July 4, Edmonton, AB.
Davis, B. & E. Simmt (2004). Compétences mathématiques des enseignants: compredre la complexité des mathématiques scolaires. Invited plenary lecture for the Groupe didatiques des mathématiques. Quebec, QC, May 27, 2004. Invited keynote.
Significant Publications from other studies
Simmt, E. (1998). Teaching practices project. Report to Alberta Education.
*Sookochoff, S., E. Simmt & D. Reid. (2007). Teacher/researcher and the reasoning outcomes in Math 20 Pure. Delta-K 44(2), 11-19.
Metz, M. & Simmt, E.
ZDM–The International Journal on mathematics education. 2015 January; 47 (2):197-209
Simmt, E. & Kieren, T.
ZDM–The International Journal on mathematics education. 2015 January; 47 (2):307-317
Davis, B, Simmt, E.