Summer 2021 - EDUC 864 G031

Research Designs in Education (5)

Class Number: 4566

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    David Pimm
    Office: 8564 EDB Burnaby Campus
    Office Hours: On ZOOM



Designing and interpreting research about education. Introduction to survey techniques, correlational designs, classic experimental and evaluation designs for investigating causal relations, case study methods, interpretive approaches to research. Students with credit for EDUC 814 may not take this course for further credit. Equivalent Courses: EDUC814


Meeting Dates:
April 16–18
May 7–9
May 28–30
June 25–27

Meeting Times:
Friday: 5.00 – 8.00
Saturday: 9.30–12.30
Sunday: 9.30–12.30

Meeting Location:

I have also requested the possibility of an F2F weekend for the final weekend in June. If successful, it will take place at Springvalley Middle School in Kelowna (where one of the cohort teachers work), which was already approved as the location for the entire programme.


EDUC 864-5 Research Designs in Education: Numeracy provides course participants with opportunities to engage more deeply with the range and depth of professional and academic writing that exists about issues within the field of mathematics education and to connect it to their own classroom situation, practice and concerns. A range of topics related to broad aspects of teaching and learning mathematics in classrooms will be explored, including classroom language (spoken and written), the nature of mathematics textbooks and other materials, as well as work specifically concerned with number, arithmetic, geometry and algebra. In addition, there will be engagement with a growing area of writing on becoming/being a teacher–researcher, closely related to the fifth course (EDUC 904 Fieldwork 3) in the programme, which follows in the Spring of 2022.


  • Assignment 1: Student in-class presentation 20%
  • Assignment 2: Article commentary and analysis 40%
  • Assignment 3: Project proposal 40%


Here are some sample assignments. Precise assignments and their due dates will be finalised (following class discussion) by the end of the first weekend.

1.     Student In-Class Presentation (20%)

Each student will be expected to plan, present and lead an in-class discussion on an assigned reading, during one of the weekends. Specifics of the assignments will be discussed during the first weekend day.

The in-class presentation will consist of:

  • a critical synthesis of the salient content described in the assigned reading (e.g. the purpose(s) of the piece in question, the theoretical concern(s), the concept(s) being developed, what specific data is described and discussed);
  • a description of the possible relevance of the content of the reading to mathematics education in schools;
  • one or two reflective question(s) for discussion by the class (the question(s) should be framed so as to provoke debate).

The presentation of the article and its discussion in class should be planned to last no more than approximately thirty minutes with an additional thirty minutes set aside for discussion. Presenters may use power point (excluding title page, no more than a dozen slides, please) or other visual emphases or class tasks to support the presentation.

Presentations will be scheduled for subsequent class meetings during the first weekend.

2.     Critical Analysis (40%)

Course participants will produce a critical analysis of one of two assigned academic journal articles. The critical analysis should consist of between 1000 and 1500 words. The course instructor will provide the articles and assignment criteria at the first weekend meeting. The paper is to be submitted by the end of third weekend.

3. Exploratory Research Proposal (40%)

Each student will author a paper (1000–1500 words) relating to a course theme, concept or framework. The purposes and expectations of this assignment will be discussed during the first weekend.The paper should reflect elements from the assigned readings, class discussions and critical analyses of current practices. The paper will be in the form of a proposal for research, will provide a clear summary of a proposed research project with sufficient detail of the key aspects to enable it to be understood and evaluated, and should consist of the following sections:

  • description of a problem to be examined (300–500 words);
  • research question(s) arising from the problem to be examined (200–300 words);
  • significance of the problem to be examined to personal learning, professional practice or professional knowledge (300–400 words);
  • proposed data source(s) and methods (200–300 words).



John Mason (2002). Researching your own practice: The discipline of noticing. London, UK:

Routledge/Falmer. (This book is available on-line through SFU library.)


There will be a series of articles that we will work on collectively.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).