Title

Professor

Participatory action research
Culturally responsive mathematics education
Teaching math for social and ecological justice

Bio

Cynthia Nicol is a Professor in the Faculty of Education and holds the David F. Robitaille Professorship in Mathematics and Science Education. She lived and taught on Haida Gwaii in B.C.’s Pacific Northwest coast before moving to Vancouver to pursue her doctoral studies. With teachers and communities, she explores new ways of making mathematics responsive to all learners by connecting Indigenous community, culture, and mathematics; emphasizing place and community-based education; re-imagining mathematics education through social and ecological justice issues; and challenging human-centric conceptions of place and STEM education. A current project involves working with teachers, community members, and Elders to explore the nature of culturally responsive pedagogies (CRP)-approaches to teaching that build upon students’ cultural and community experiences and histories. Another project includes working with teachers in the Dadaab refugee camp, Northeast Kenya, to deepen understanding of what it means to live, learn and teach in the largest protracted refugee camp in the world.

Cynthia is committed to research and community engagement that challenges colonial logics in mathematics and teacher education through practices that are grounded in students’ community and cultural experiences. She is a co-editor of multiple books including: Tluuwaay ‘Waadluxan: Mathematical Adventures (co-edited with Joanne Yovanovich, 2011) a collaboration between teachers and community members, where Indigenous Elders’ stories form the inspiration for mathematical adventures; and Living Culturally Responsive Mathematics Education with/in Indigenous Communities (co-edited with Jo-ann Archibald Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Florence Glanfield, and the late A.J. Sandy Dawson, 2020) that examines practices of CRP within Indigenous communities from international perspectives.

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Selected Publications

Nicol, C., Thom J. & Glanfield, F. (forthcoming). Place with STEM. Accepted for the International Encyclopedia of Education 4th edition edited by Robert Tierney, Fazal Rizvi, Kadriye Ercikan, & Graham Smith.

Sam, J., Hare, J., Nicol, C., & Petherick, L. (forthcoming). Indigenizing design for online learning in Indigenous teacher education. Critical Instructional Design.

Rubel, L. H., Nicol, C., & Chronaki, A. (2021). A critical mathematics perspective on reading data visualizations: Reimagining through reformatting, reframing, and renarrating. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 108(1-2), 249-268

Ruitenberg, C., Meyer, K., & Nicol, C. (2021) Hoos: Scenes of educational hospitality. PUBLIC: Art, Culture, Ideas, 31(61), 174-195.

Nicol, C., Nolan, D., Glanfield, F., & Francis, K. (2020). Re-Imagining the M in STEM: Mathematical actions for innovative, resilient and culturally rich communities. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 20(2), 175-181.

Nicol, C., Nolan, D., Glanfield, F., & Francis, K. (2020). La ré-imagination de l’élément M des STEM: Démarches mathématiques pour des communautés innovantes, résilientes et riches en culture. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 20(2), 182-189. [French translation].

Nicol, C., Gerofsky, S., Nolan, K., Francis, K., & Fritzlan, A. (2020). Teacher educator professional learning with/in place: Storying the work of decolonizing mathematics education within a colonial structure. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 20(2), 190-204.

Rubel, L. H. & Nicol, C. (2020). The power of place: Spatializing critical mathematics education. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 22(3), 1-22.

Nicol, C., Bragg, L. A., Radzimski, V., Yaro, K., Chen, A., & Amoah, E. (2019). Learning to teach the M in/for STEM for social justice. ZDM Mathematics Education, 51(6), 1005-1016.

Royea, D. A. & Nicol, C. (2018). Pre-service teachers’ experiences of learning study: Learning with and using variation theory. Educational Action Research, 27(4), 564-580.

Miller, L. & Nicol, C. (2018). Teacher education in refuge environments: A multi-institutional collaborative approach to teacher education in Dadaab refugee camps, Kenya. Journal of the World Federation of Associations of Teacher Education, 2(3a), 121-134.

Guillemette, D. & Nicol, C. (2016). Mathematics education and social justice or learning to meet others in the classroom: A collective reflection. For the Learning of Mathematics: An International Journal of Mathematics Education, 36(3), 38-43.

Nicol, C., Archibald, J., & Baker, J. (2013). Designing a model of culturally responsive mathematics education: Place, relationships and storywork. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 25(1), 73-89.

Bragg, L. & Nicol, C. (2011) Seeing mathematics through a new lens: Using photos in the mathematics classroom. Australian Mathematics Teacher, 67(3), 3-9.

Nicol, C., Novakowski, J. Ghaleb, F., & Beairsto, S. (2010) Interweaving pedagogies of care and inquiry: Tensions, dilemmas and possibilities. Studying Teacher Education: A journal of self-study of teacher education practices, 6(3), 235-244.

Sterenberg, G., Barrett, L., Glanfield, F., Lunney Borden, L., McDonnell, T., Nicol, C., & Weston, H. (2010). To become wise to the world around us: Multiple perspectives of relating Indigenous knowledge sand mathematics education. Vinculum: Journal of the Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers’ Society, 2(1), 7-19. [reprinted article from Delta-K].

Sterenberg, G., Barrett, L., Blood, N., Glanfield, F., Lunney-Borden, L., McDonnell, T., Nicol, C., & Weston, H. (2010). To become wise to the world around us: Multiple perspectives of relating Indigenous knowledges and mathematics education. Delta-K, 47(2), 2-14.

Nielsen, W., Nicol, C., & Owuor, J. (2009). Culturally responsive mathematics pedagogy through complexivist thinking. FormaMente, IV (1-2), 107-130. [reprinted from Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education].

Nielsen, W., Nicol, C., & Owuor J. (2008). Culturally-responsive mathematics pedagogy through complexivist thinking. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 5(1), 33-48.

Laroche, L., Nicol, C. & Mayer-Smith, J. (2007). New venues for science teacher education: Self-organizational pedagogy on the edge of chaos. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 4(1), 69-84.

Crespo, S. & Nicol, C. (2006). Challenging preservice teachers’ mathematical understanding: The case of division by zero. School Science and Mathematics, 106(2), 84-97.

Nicol, C. (2006). Designing a pedagogy of inquiry in teacher education: Moving from resistance to listening. Studying Teacher Education: A Journal of Self-Study in Teacher Education Practices, 2(1), 25-41.

Nicol, C. & Crespo, S. (2006). Learning to teach with textbooks: How preservice teachers interpret and use curriculum materials in their teaching. Educational Studies in Mathematics: An International Journal, 62(3), 331-355.

Nicol, C. & Crespo, S. (2005). Exploring mathematics in imaginative places: Re-thinking what counts as meaningful contexts for learning mathematics. School Science and Mathematics, 105(5), 240-251.

Edstrom, C., Peterat, L., & Nicol, C. (2005).  Encouraging empathy through home economics and the buddy project: An action research inquiry. Journal of Consumer and Family Sciences, 23(1), 28-36.

Novakowski, J., Kelleher, H., & Nicol, C. (2005). The British Columbia Early Numeracy Project. Vector, Journal of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers, 46(2), 15-25. (CA).

Nicol, C., Moore, J., Zappa, S., Yusyp, M., & Sasges, M. (2004). Living action research: Authoring identities through Ya Ya projects. Educational Action Research: An International Journal, 12(3), 311-327.

Nicol, C., Tsai, L., & Gaskell, J. (2004). Students and applied academics: Learner agency in a changing curriculum. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 209-221.

Nicol, C. (2002). Where’s the math? Prospective teachers visit the workplace. Educational Studies in Mathematics: An International Journal, 50(3), 289-309.

Nicol, C. (2002). Knowing and learning mathematics for teaching. Vector: Journal of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers, 43(1), 29-34.

Nicol, C. (2000). Eyes wide open: In the 9th International Congress on Mathematical Education. For the Learning of Mathematics: An International Journal of Mathematics Education, 20(3), 34-37.

Nicol, C. (1999). Learning to teach mathematics: Questioning, Listening and Responding. Educational Studies in Mathematics: An International Journal, 37(1), 45-66.

 

Selected Refereed Conference Proceedings

Thom, J., Nicol, C., Fritzlan, A., Francis, K., Glanfield, F., & Ghostkeeper, E., (2021). Re-storying the M in STEM: How mathematics education might/can shape STEM and STEM education. In D. Anderson, M. Milner-Bolotin, R. Santos, & S. Petrina (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International STEM in Education Conference (STEM 2021). (pp. 375-380). University of British Columbia. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0402129

Connolly, M. & Nicol, C., (2018). Financial literacy: Practicing money management as your future-self. In E. Bergqvist, M. Österhold, C. Granberg, & L. Sumpter (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol. 2 (pp. 291-298). Umea, Sweden: IGPME.

Nicol, C., Bragg, L., Radzimski, V., He, T., & Yaro, K. (2017). Teaching mathematics for justice: Pedagogies of discomfort, contradictions and dialogue. In B. Kaur, W.K., Ho., T.L. Toh & B.H. Choy (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol. 3 (pp. 297-304). Singapore: IGPME.

Connolly, M. & Nicol, C. (2015). Students and financial literacy: What do middle school students know? What do teachers want them to know? In Beswick, K., Muir, T., & Wells, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol. 2 (pp. 185-192). Hobart, Australia: IGPME.

Royea, D., Nicol, C. & Osana, H. (2015). ‘Borrowing from the neighbour’ Preservice teachers’ interpretations of student errors. In Beswick, K., Muir, T., & Wells, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol. 3 (pp. 289-300). Hobart, Australia: IGPME.

Bragg, L. & Nicol, C. (2015). Collaborative development of a quality mathematics assessment task to promote preservice teacher candidates’ professional eye. In C. Vistro Yu (Ed.), In pursuit of mathematics education Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Mathematics Instruction East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (pp. 329-338). Cebu City, Philippines: Philippine Council of Mathematics Teacher Education.

Deniz, O., Gerofsky, S. & Nicol, C. (2014). Mathematics texts: Worksheets and genre-building. In C. Nicol, P. Liljedahl, S. Oesterle, & D. Allen (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 2 (pp. 377-384). Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Nicol, C., Bragg, L., & Nejad, M. (2013). Adapting the task: What preservice teaches notice when adapting mathematical tasks. In Heinz, A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME): Vol 3 (pp. 369-376). Kiel, Germany: IGPME.

Bragg, L. and Nicol, C. (2013) The task of designing tasks for teacher education and development. In Inprasitha, M. (Ed.), EARCOM 2013: Innovations and exemplary practices in mathematics education: Proceedings of the 6th East Asia Regional 2013 Conference on Mathematics Education (pp. 153-162). Khonkaen, Thailand: Center for Research in Mathematics Education.

Nicol, C. & Korteweg, L. (2010). Braiding teacher lives into relation: The steps and dilemmas of culturally responsive teacher education in Canada. In L. Erickson, J. Young, and S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 183-187). Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex England. Provo Utah: Brigham Young University.

Nicol, C. (2010). Learning about culturally responsive mathematics education. In M. F. Pinto & T. F. Kawasaki (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME): Vol 3 (pp. 329-336). Belo Horizonte Brazil: IGPME.

Nicol, C. & Bragg, C. (2009). Designing problems: What kinds of open-ended problems do preservice teachers pose? In Tzekaki, M. Kaldrimidou, M. & Sakonidis, H. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 4 (pp. 225-232). Thessaloniki, Greece: IGPME.

Bragg, L. & Nicol, C., (2008). Designing open-ended problems to challenge preservice teachers’ views on mathematics and pedagogy. In Figueras, O. Sepúlveda, A. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the 32nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the North American Chapter: Vol 2, (pp. 256-270). Morelia, Michoacaán, México: IGPME.

Nicol, C. & Brown, L. (2008) Creating emotionally healthy mathematics classrooms: Educating mind and heart through culturally responsive teaching. Proceedings of the Canadian Aboriginal Science and Engineering Society, (pp. 12-24). Edmonton, AB: Aboriginal Science and Engineering Society.

Nicol, C., Novakowski, J., Ghaleb, F., & Biestro, S. (2008). Interweaving a pedagogy of care and pedagogy of inquiry: Tensions, dilemmas and possibilities. Proceedings of seventh annual Castle Conference of Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 252-256). Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England.

Saundry, C. & Nicol, C. (2006). Exploring children’s: visual spatial representations of problem solving. In J. Novotná, H. Moraová, M. Krátká, N. Stehlíková (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2006 International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 5 (pp. 57-64). Prague, Czech Republic: IGPME.

Nicol, C. & Crespo, S. (2004). Learning to see in mathematics classrooms. In M. Høines and A. Fuglestad (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2004 International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 3 (pp. 417-424). Bergen, Norway: IGPME.

Nicol, C., Kelleher, H. & Saundry, C. (2004) What a simple task can show: Teachers explore the complexity of children’ thinking. In M. Høines and A. Fuglestad (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2004 International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 3 (pp. 145-152). Bergen, Norway: IGPME.

Crespo, S. & Nicol C. (2003). Learning to investigate students’ mathematical thinking: The role of student interviews, In N. Pateman, B. Dougherty, and J. Zilliox (Eds.), Proceedings of 2003 Joint Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and Psychology of Mathematics Education- North American: Vol 2 (pp. 261-268). Honolulu, HI: IGPME.

Nicol, C. & Crespo, S. (2003) Learning in and from practice: Preservice teachers investigate their mathematics teaching. In N. Pateman, B. Dougherty, and J. Zilliox (Eds.), Proceedings of 2003 Joint Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and Psychology of Mathematics Education- North American: Vol 3 (pp. 373-381). Honolulu, HI: IGPME.

Nicol, C. Gooya, Z., & Martin, J. (2002) Learning mathematics for teaching: Developing content knowledge and pedagogy in a mathematics course for intending teachers. In A. Cockburn and E. Nardi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education: Vol 3 (pp. 17-25). Norwich, UK: IGPME.

 

Selected Books and Chapters

Nicol, C. Archibald, J., & Glanfield, F., Dawson, A.J. (Eds.). (2020). Living culturally responsive education with/in Indigenous communities. Brill/Sense.

Nicol, C. Archibald, J. & Yovanovich, J. (2020). Being guided by Kugann Jaad Mouse Woman for culturally responsive mathematics education. In C. Nicol, A.J. Dawson, J. Archibald & F. Glanfield (Eds.), Living culturally responsive education with/in Indigenous communities (pp. 17-45). Brill/Sense.

Nicol, C. Archibald, J. & Glanfield, F. (2020). Making a difference with/in Indigenous communities. In C. Nicol, A.J. Dawson, J. Archibald & F. Glanfield (Eds.), Living culturally responsive education with/in Indigenous communities (pp. 1-15). Brill/Sense Publishers.

Nicol, C. Archibald, J. & Glanfield, F. (2020). Culturally responsive pedagogies to re-storying mathematics education. In C. Nicol, A.J. Dawson, J. Archibald & F. Glanfield (Eds.), Living culturally responsive education with/in Indigenous communities (pp. 259-264). Brill/Sense Publishers.

Archibald, J., Nicol, C., & Yovanovich, J. (2019). Transforming education for Aboriginal mathematics learning: Indigenous storywork as methodology. In J. Archibald, J. Bol Jun Lee-Morgan, & J. de Santolo (Eds.), Decolonizing research: Indigenous storywork as methodology (pp. 72-87). ZED.

Meyer, K., Nicol, C., Maalim, S., Olow, M., Ali Hirsi, A., Nashon, S., Bulle, M., Hussein, A., Imaan, A., Hassan, H. (2019).  Crossing borders: A story of refugee education. In (Eds.), N. Ng-A-Fook, A. Ibrahim, W. F. Pinar, B. Smith, and C. Hebert. Internationalizing curriculum studies: Histories, environments, and critiques. (pp. 107-124). Palgrave Macmillan.

Khamasi, J., Nicol, C., Meyer, K. & Nashon, S. (2019). Living, learning and teaching in a refugee camp: Biographies of perseverance. In K. Arar, K. Haj-Yehia, D. Ross & Y. Kondakci (Eds.), Higher education challenges for migrant and refugee students in a global world (pp. 283-295). Peter Lang.

Nicol, C. (2018). Connecting mathematics, community culture and place: Promise, possibilities and problems. In G. Kaiser, H. Forgasz, M. Graven, A. Kuzniak, E. Simmt, & B. Xu (Eds.), Invited lectures from the 13th international congress on mathematical education (pp. 423 – 440), Springer.

Boškić, N., Sork, T., Irwin, R., Nashon, S., Nicol, C., Meyer, K., & Hu, S. (2018). Using technology to provide higher education for refugees. In E. Francois (Ed.), Transnational perspectives on innovation in teaching and learning technologies (pp. 285-304). Brill/Sense.

Meyer, K., Nicol, C., Mallim, S., Olow, M., Alim A., Nashon, S., Bulle, M., Hussein, A., Hussein Mohamad, A., Hassan, H. (2018). “Dadaab Refugee Camp and the story of school” In C. Leggo & E.Hasabe-Ludt (Eds.), Canadian curriculum studies: A Métissage of inspiration/imagination/interconnection (pp. 257-265). Canadian Scholars.

Nicol, C. & Yovanovich, C. (2017). Sustaining living and learning culturally responsive pedagogy. In J. Archibald & J. Hare (Eds.), Learning, knowing, sharing: Celebrating Aboriginal education K-12 success in British Columbia (pp. 83-100). BCPVPA.

Nicol, C. & Krykorka, F. (2016). Pedagogical and mathematical problem/solving in PBL: Possibilities and limitations of PBL in the classroom. In M. Filipenko and J. Nasland (Eds.), Problem based learning in teacher education (pp. 173-186). Springer.

Nicol, C. (2016). Being students and teachers of mathematics and social justice. Commentary on learning about students and learning using data and maps. In White, D et al (Eds.), Cases for mathematics teacher educators: Facilitating conversations about inequities in mathematics classrooms. Information Age Publishing.

Nicol, C., Yovanovich, J., & Gear, A. (2016). Considering place for connecting mathematics, community and culture. In A. Anderson, J. Anderson, J. Hare, & M. McTavish (Eds.), Language, learning and culture in early childhood: Home, school and community contexts (pp. 123-141). Routledge.

Nicol, C. & Thom, J. (2016). Vector in the 1990s: A Commentary. In E. Chernoff, P. Liljedahl, S. Chorney (Eds.), Selected writings from the Journal of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers: Celebrating 50 years of Vector. Information Age Publishing.

Liljedahl, P., Nicol, C., Oesterle, S. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 1. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Nicol, C., Liljedahl, P. Oesterle, S. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 2. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Oesterle, S., Liljedahl, P., Nicol, C. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 3. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Liljedahl, P., Oesterle, S., Nicol, C. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 4. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Nicol, C., Oesterle, S., Liljedahl, P. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 5. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Oesterle, S., Nicol, C., Liljedahl, P. & Allen, D. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol 6. Vancouver, Canada: IGPME.

Nicol, C. & Yovanovich, J. (2011). Tluuwaay ‘Waadluxan Mathematical Adventures for Gina ‘Waadluxan Tluu: The Everything Canoe. Haida Gwaii, BC: Haida Gwaii School District.

Nicol, C. (2011). Growing possibilities: Designing mathematical and pedagogical problems using variation. In S. Schuck & P. Pereira (Eds.), What counts in teaching mathematics: Adding value to self and content (pp. 45-60). Springer.

Nicol, C., Archibald, J., & Baker, J. (2010). Investigating culturally responsive mathematics education. Report to the Canadian Council on Learning. Available http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Research/FundedResearch/project-funding-structured.html.

Nicol, C. & Robitaille, D. (2005). A focus on students. In OECD Thematic report PISA 2003 mathematics education. OECD.

Gaskell, P. J., Nicol, C. & Tsai, L. (2004). Working outcomes in the classroom: A case study of applied academics in British Columbia. In J. Gaskell and K. Rubenson (Eds.), Educational outcomes for the Canadian workplace (pp. 186-203). University of Toronto Press.

Nicol, C. (2001). Pedagogical possibilities and ethical responses of researching practice: Tensions and resistance.  In L. Peterat and G. Smith (Eds.), Making a difference in classrooms: Action inquiry into education practices: 2001 Yearbook on action research (pp. 116-125), Peoria IL: American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.