Good number sense comes from more than textbook teaching and learning. For Ann LeSage, PhD, it’s about fundamentally changing the way that pre-service teachers approach their own learning and teaching of mathematics to engage children at an early age. An Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Dr. LeSage is passionate about changing children’s experiences with math, by changing the perceptions of pre-service educators coming into the program.
Dr. LeSage first noticed this gap early in her elementary teaching career. Students struggled to understand math from teachers who didn’t have a firm grasp of mathematical concepts; and as a result weren’t able to engage students in learning. She has always been enthusiastic about teaching math and science and wanted to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children.
At the University of Western Ontario, Dr. LeSage earned both her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology, and her Bachelor of Education in Primary-Junior Education in 1988, and 1993, respectively. Upon graduation, she began teaching Grade 2 abroad at the Abu Dhabi International School in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and served as a mathematics and biology (IGCSE) teacher for the American International School in UAE. In 1998, she furthered her global teaching experience as a mathematics teacher (pre-algebra) at Colegio Bolivar in Cali, Colombia.
Dr. LeSage returned to Canada to pursue graduate studies, and in 1999 she completed her Master of Education in Curriculum and Leadership at Nipissing University (NU) in North Bay, Ontario. She joined the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Education Studies (OISE) as a research assistant in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning in 2000; where she earned her Doctorate in 2005. She also held the appointment of tenured assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at NU before joining UOIT in 2006. Here, she quickly realized how few math and science courses were offered to pre-service teachers, and what little background they had in these areas.
Her role at UOIT is in developing pre-service teachers’ understanding of math and science to foster lifelong student engagement in these critical subjects for the benefit of society. For her work in this area, she was awarded the Best Practical Paper at the 2011 International Association for Development of the Information Society e-Learning Conference in Rome, Italy.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (8)
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, UOIT (professional)
As an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at UOIT, Dr. LeSage has developed invaluable online educational resources for teaching mathematics including Words2Numbers, an open access website for sharing math through literature integrated lesson plans from kindergarten to Grade 8 (http://education.uoit.ca/words2numbers/).
Member, Best Start Network, Durham Region (professional)
Dr. LeSage serves as a member of Durham Region’s Best Start Network, and its Research and Knowledge Mobilization Committee. The network brings together the region’s six school boards, child-care service providers and support agencies to meet and share information and ideas for the benefit of children from infants to 12 years of age.
OISE, University of Toronto: PhD, Education: Curriculum Teaching and Learning 2005
Nipissing University: MEd, Education, Curriculum and Leadership 1999
University of Western Ontario: BEd, Primary-Junior Education 1993
University of Western Ontario: BSc, Geology 1988
Event Appearances (9)
Don’t count on the quality of children’s counting books
57th International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly Bangkok, Thailand
Pathways Research Team. Exploring Pathways and Advisor Experiences in a College-University Pathways Program
Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) Student Pathways in Higher Education Conference Toronto, Ontario
Admissions criteria: A determinant of “who gets to be a teacher?”
Sixth Working Conference on Research in Teacher Education in Canada Montreal, Quebec
Beyond the “WOW factor”: A framework for selecting children’s literature for teaching mathematics
Canadian Society for the Study of Education Waterloo, Ontario
So much to do, so little time: Supporting elementary pre-service teachers’ sense of rational numbers
Awarded Best Practical Paper, presented at The International Association for Development of the Information Society e-Learning Conference (IADIS) Rome, Italy
Supporting elementary pre-service teachers’ understanding of mathematic
Canadian Society for the Study of Education Fredericton, New Brunswick
Beyond “Five Little Monkeys”: Evaluating the quality of children’s literature in mathematics
National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Conference Indianapolis, Indiana
Case Study in Designing a Logic model for program evaluations
TeachMe Conference Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Case Study in Conducting a Program Evaluation: Checking for School Improvement and Effectiveness
TeachMe Conference Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Research Grants (1)
Preschool Readiness for Children with Special Needs
Durham Region Social Services, and Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth $10,000
In partnership with Resources for Exceptional Children and Youth, and Durham Region Social Services, Dr. Lesage is working with the Best Start Network to develop preschool readiness for children with special needs using technology. The project involves working with 200 families in the community and teaches parents how to enable their special needs children to effectively use high-quality preschool math apps in order to prepare for kindergarten. Her research will assess the impact of the use of technology in developing other skill sets such as fine motor skills. Additionally, Dr. LeSage is developing tools to assess the quality of preschool math apps available for understanding quantity, counting and early geometry. She is also involved in training the project’s resource consultants to effectively use the apps and introduce the project to families. The goal is to significantly improve this high risk group of children’s understanding of mathematics prior to entering school to help nurture their future success.