"I wanted to study teaching and learning mathematics by using digital tools. The faculty of education has amazing professors. They not only expand my knowledge and skills but also encouraged me in my studies."

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Student Profile: Canan Güneş

March 18, 2022
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Mathematics Education doctoral student in the Faculty of Education

I was born in Izmir and grew up moving around cities in Turkey because of my parents' occupations. I think that made me a person who enjoys discovering new things. I studied teaching mathematics at Boğaziçi University and during that time I went to the Netherlands through the Erasmus program for five months. It was fascinating to experience and observe another education system. After I graduated, I taught mathematics in a middle school that adopts the pedagogy of learning by doing which is not fully recognized in many schools due to the lack of materials or the priority given to the success in national exams. This unique teaching experience shaped my graduate studies.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

SFU has an amazing faculty! I wanted to study teaching and learning mathematics by using digital tools. When I checked the profiles of the professors, I saw that Dr. Nathalie Sinclair is working in this area and wanted to study under her supervision.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I examine TouchTimes, one of the digital tools Dr. Nathalie Sinclair and Dr. Nicholas Jackiw designed to engage students with multiplicative thinking. This tool helps students create and manipulate a multiplication model, which is different from the repeated addition model, by using their fingers. I explore how multiplicative thinking emerges as learners interact with TouchTimes and with the individuals who also interact with Touchtimes.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

As I said before, the faculty of education has amazing professors. They not only expand my knowledge and skills but also encouraged me in my studies. Pursuing graduate studies might be emotionally challenging sometimes and feeling the support of my professors in this journey is priceless. I am also grateful to have Dr. Sinclair as my supervisor. She has been always accessible when I needed, introduced me to various interesting research and enlarged my vision, helped me build many research skills by involving me in several projects, which also supported me economically. Last but not least, I appreciate the great library services SFU provides. It is such a relief to know that if you need help in your research, you can find somebody who is ready to help you.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I have received Graduate Fellowship and Presidents Ph.D. Scholarship provided by SFU. They helped me focus only on my studies and complete my program in a timely manner. This obviously contributes to my mental health positively as funding is an important problem, especially for international students.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

As the name suggests, the focus of my program is mathematics education. However, it is open to various research interests including teaching and learning elementary, secondary, or tertiary mathematics; teaching and learning mathematics by using digital tools; teacher learning; and many other things. One can conduct either empirical or theoretical research.

 

Contact : cgunes@sfu.ca

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