Trustee Study

It is my deepest pleasure to work at SFU as a research assistant supporting Dr. Daniel Laitsch, PhD with a research study that looks at research and kind of information school trustees in BC access to inform decision making. This study parallels one that was conducted in the United States, but translated to the BC context. We have implemented a survey questionnaire to individual school trustees. Participation is anonymous and data is kept confidential. At present, we have presented a poster of the study at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2016 Annual Conference in April and have been recently accepted to present at the Canadian School Board Association (CSBA) 2016 Congress in July and Learning Forward Conference 2016 Annual Conference in Vancouver in December.

Doctoral Study

My doctoral dissertation is titled… “The Professional Learning Experiences of Non-Mathematics Subject Specialist Teachers – A Descriptive Study.” My research study is focused on the professional learning activities these teachers participate in to gain their subject matter content knowledge in mathematics as practicing secondary mathematics teachers in BC schools.

Progress Update: Apparently it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated… which is a good thing as it would infer that I was on task and getting this dissertation done. The dissertation underwent two rounds of editing: once for grammar, the other for formatting. Back and forth the paper went until I was ready to submit to my committee. Feedback was provided by my committee and further revisions to finally reach my final, final draft submitted at the end of June. A long story made short, my oral defence date is Thursday, August 17th at 9:30am at Surrey campus. I’m looking forward to this event and getting my dissertation into the library… then graduate.

Updated August 3, 2017

Progress Update: The dissertation is undergoing it’s final edits and APA editing. It should be ready by the end of April or the beginning of July to submit to the external examiner. 8 weeks, then it will be the oral defence. I am expecting some revisions along the way but each time the paper is revised, it just gets better and better. I will be defending in the Summer 2017 session. The defence date is TBA.

Updated April 23, 2017

Progress Update: I’m receiving feedback from my supervisors on my recent “final” draft of my dissertation. The feedback is promising. The revisions are doable and relative small in nature. I wrote the Abstract for my supervisor the other days so that he can find can go find an external examiner. The projected defence date is May 2017. It’s one step at a time and I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Updated: February 13, 2017

Progress Update: The final draft of my dissertation has been submitted at the beginning of December and is under committee review. I am proud of my findings and I look forward to feedback from my committee. I hope to proceed to the next step and move forward towards final revisions and defending my research.

Updated: December 27, 2016

Progress Update: The final draft of my dissertation is undergoing a few rounds of editing before being submitted to the supervising committee. The introduction and literature review were updated. Student progress report and renewing my ethics application submitted and recently approved for another year. The methodology remained the same and data analysis revised. With these changes to Chapters 1 to 4, the conclusion and recommendations were modified accordingly, based on the findings. Now, it is grammar, flow, and formatting that counts.

Updated: November 17, 2016

Progress Update: The first draft of my dissertation has been submitted to my supervising team. It was challenging to complete and revise several times Chapter 4 & 5, then the entire dissertation. Looking forward to feedback and working towards defence.

Updated: April 20, 2016

Progress Update: It’s been a month or so and I have completed rough, rough drafts of Chapters 4 and 5. Attended a 3-day Thesis BootCamp at SFU-Vancouver on February 16-18th. My thesis is now completely formatted to the thesis template, my chapters 1-4 have been edited, and I am currently half-way editing chapter 5. Thank you to everyone at the BootCamp. I have new strategies in my library research to revisit my literature review or Chapter 2 in preparation of submitting my first draft of my dissertation. Every step takes time and I am enjoying the learning process.

Updated: February 24, 2016

Progress Update: Happy New Year… and yes, it has been. I am so happy to have my data collected as I had spent much of the winter holidays analyzing the responses as singular variables as well as looking for relationships. After satisfying my data analysis plan as proposed in my study details and then some, I have roughly drafted Chapter 4. Now, I am in the midst of revising Chapter 4 to create flow and make connections. I call this NUMERIC STORYTELLING. I am enjoying the process and excited about what I have found. I am looking forward to finishing my draft Chapter 4 to start the rough draft of Chapter 5 and interpreting the data as it pertains to the professional learning experiences of non-mathematics subject specialist teachers.

Updated: January 13, 2016

Progress Update: The data collection period has officially ended. Thank you to all those who participated in the survey. Once again, your time and input are greatly appreciated. 103 people attempted the survey with 62 completing the survey by responding to last question. I have previewed the data and based on first impressions trends are emerging. Currently, in data analysis and look forward writing Chapters 4 and 5 to discover what can be learned about the professional learning experiences of non-mathematics subject specialist teachers in BC schools.

Updated: December 8, 2015

The ethics review application for this dissertation at Simon Fraser University’s Office of Research Ethics has been APPROVED and will be collecting data from Monday, November 23, 2015 to Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Email invitations have been sent out on the BCAMT Listserve, personal emails, and my social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. If you received this email invitation (see below) or weblink and would like to participate, please proceed with the online survey at If you have not received this email invitation or weblink, please read the email invitation provided below.

The study is looking for participants who: (1) taught or is currently teaching in BC schools, (2) taught or is currently teaching at least one Math 8-12 course in BC schools, and (3) did not complete a degree in mathematics before teaching mathematics in BC schools. If this is YOU, please consider filling out the survey. The survey is looking at your professional learning experiences. If this is not you and you know of someone who may satisfy this participant profile, please forward this email invitation to him or her via

Updated: November 23, 2015

EMAIL INVITATION: Looking for your participation

November 23, 2015

Greetings fellow math educators…

I am a graduate student at Simon Fraser University in the doctorate program of Educational Leadership. I am conducting a study looking at the professional learning experiences of non-mathematics subject specialist teachers who teach secondary mathematics in BC schools. These teachers are certified to teach in BC schools and entered the teaching profession with subject preparation not in mathematics.

I am looking for participants to partake in my survey questionnaire that will ask these non-mathematics subject specialist teachers on what professional learning activities they have participated in to strengthen their mathematics content knowledge as practicing secondary mathematics teachers in BC schools. The survey will take approximately 5-20 minutes to complete. Your participation or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

If you have taught or currently teach in BC schools, did not complete a degree with a major or minor in mathematics or one with significant mathematics content prior to teaching, and have taught or currently teaching secondary mathematics in BC schools you are a candidate to participate in this survey. If this is not you, please forward this invitation to a colleague or colleagues who may satisfy this participant profile.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the learning experiences of non-mathematics subject specialist teachers and gather pertinent information that would shed light on what professional learning activities would best support teachers who are teaching secondary mathematics out-of-field with their mathematics content knowledge development.

Although email and social media are not confidential mediums, your participation in the online survey questionnaire will be confidential and information provided anonymous. For more information, proceed with the survey and read further in the informed consent.

I would also encourage you to forward this invitation to other teachers and math educators in BC who may be viable candidates to participate in this survey questionnaire. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, the principal investigator, at 604-XXX-XXX or For more information regarding the study, go to my webpage at

Thank you for your consideration. If you would like to participate, go to the survey link at Your time, input, and insight on your professional learning experiences are welcomed, valued, and respected.

Warm regards,

Christine Younghusband

Graduate Student, Simon Fraser University