I learn a lot about teaching as I nurture my little garden. I nurture soil to grow plants, observe the eco-system of the garden, pay attention to growth of plants, cannot water too much or too little, have to be patient, and listen carefully the characteristics of each plant and change the soil accordingly. In this process, I also nurture myself.
Through my teaching, I try to promote justice-oriented, transdisciplinary praxis.
Courses I teach
I have taught 11 different courses both in the graduate education programs and in the undergraduate teacher education programs, and both online and face-to-face courses. At the graduate level, I have taught specialization courses in the learning sciences, mathematics education, and research methodology. At the undergraduate level, I have taught STEM Education, Diversity in Learning, and Specialization courses. I have taught in the community-based BEd program. Beyond the Department of Education, I have also collaborated with the Department of Mathematics.
The Use of Video Interactional Analysis for Teacher Education
One of the challenges in Year 1 teacher education courses is the students’ limited interactions with the realities of the classroom. To facilitate a dialogue between theory and practice and teachers’ pedagogy in action, I facilitate video-based interactional analysis sessions in my teacher education course. Classroom videos were made possible through collaboration and partnership with local schools. Some comments from students: “It is helpful to see the practices we are learning about in action,” “I am able to observe the classroom environment and make connections to what we are learning”. Also, bringing video-based interactional analysis into teacher education courses is one way to connect my research project and theoretical insights into teacher education.
STEM Education for Societal and Environmental Justice (K-4)
In my STEM education course, I start with discussions on what “STEM” is (historically and ideologically), computational/algorithmic thinking and design in the context of our everyday problems and democracy. Such discussions facilitated students’ inquiries centralized social and environmental justice issues that are relevant to learners in the early years (Kindergarten to Grade 4) – “how can we mitigate damages caused by wildfire?” “how can we clean the polluted ocean?” “how can technologies help people with less mobility?” These inquiries led to a STEM unit plan that teacher candidates collectively design.
The Soil Camp team welcomes teachers and teacher candidates to play, learn, and act on a public urban farm with refugee youth and children while deepening our understanding on the land, ecosystems, and biodiversity with STEM concepts. (More about our project: read here). Our Soil Camp project collaborates with the Experiential Learning Program at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. If you are interested in land-based STEM pedagogy, learning with refugee youth, children, and families, and taking part in civic-driven actions for sustainability, join as facilitators for the summer!
In my methodology courses, I try to create opportunities to analyze data as much as possible. I encourage students to apply key theoretical constructs to analyze data (e.g., fieldnotes taken by students in public spaces, newspaper articles on mathematics education, photographs of learning spaces). Along with this exercise, I introduce and demonstrate the way I use data analysis software for coding and collectively map key analytic constructs.
Works with Teacher Collaborators
I value collaboration with teachers and teacher candidates. The following list is our collaborative writings (available online through hyperlinks).
Langevin, N., Takeuchi, M.A., Yuen, J., & Jacques, S. (2021). Fostering genetic mathematical understanding through the early STEM classroom. Delta-K: Journal of the Mathematics Council of the Alberta Teacher’s Association, 57(1), 29-34. Available here
Translanguaging Study Group (de Araujo, Z., Gomez, N., Li, J-Y., Miller, E., Morales, H., Roberts, S., Smith, E., Takeuchi, M.A., Truxaw, M., & Willey, C.). (2020). Translanguaging and the mathematics classroom. Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, 11(2), 8-15. Available here
Jaques, S., Kim, B., Shyleyko-Kostas, A., & Takeuchi, M.A. (2019). “I just won against myself!”: Fostering early numeracy through boardgame play and redesign. Early Childhood Education, 46(1). 22-29. Available here
Takeuchi, M., & Coyle, R. (2015). Learning elapsed time through afterschool activities. Ontario Mathematics Gazette, 54 (2), 9–13. Available here
My teaching and research activities are made possible on the land that holds us.
In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honor and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani as well as the Stoney Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. As an educator and educational researcher, I acknowledge the past wrongdoings done through schooling on Indigenous communities and commit to reflect on Canada’s colonial histories and learn to act toward reconciliation with and the resurgence of Indigenous communities.
Let’s grow together!