George Gadanidis
Janette Hughes

ON Math is a collaborative R & D project by George Gadanidis (math education professor at Western), Janette Hughes (Canada Research Chair in Technology and Pedagogy at Ontario Tech), in partnership with the Rainy River DSB, the Wellington Catholic DSB, and the Ontario Math Knowledge Network.

Our goal is to design, research and disseminate (on a cost recovery basis) teaching, learning and professional development resources to support the implementation of the new Ontario mathematics curriculum 1-8. George brings his expertise in mathematics and coding and Janette brings her expertise in maker education with a focus on STEAM, working with 30+ school districts across Ontario.


Leads: George Gadanidis (PhD) & Janette Hughes (PhD)

School District Partners: Rainy River DSB, Wellington Catholic DSB

Support: Lisa Anne Floyd (PhD in progress), Molly Gadanidis (undergrad), Zeynep Gecu-Parmaksiz (PhD), Margie Lam (MA in progress), Laura Morrison (EdD in progress)

Contact: George Gadanidis: ggadanid@uwo.ca; Janette Hughes: janette.hughes@uoit.ca

design principles

  1. Math is big. Children’s minds are bigger. We want to teach the content of grade-specific mathematics expectations. And we want students to experience this content (1) in a context of big math ideas, (2) with opportunities to model and investigate, (3) through mathematical beauty and wonder, and (4) while developing social-emotional learning skills.
  2. Math is worth doing. Math is worth talking about. At least once each unit of study, students should experience mathematics that (1) is worthy of their attention, worthy of their wonderful potential, and (2) can be shared beyond the classroom as a story or experience that offers mathematical surprise and insight.

We have been using and researching these principles in Ontario classrooms, and classrooms in Brazil, for many years. We are excited to build on this experience and expertise through this project.

We believe that occasional, well-designed aesthetic mathematics experiences “that are immersive, infused with meaning, and felt as coherent and complete” (Parrish, 2009, p.511), and the associated experience of complex, surprising, emotionally engaging, and viscerally pleasing mathematics, can serve as “a process of enculturation” (Brown, Collins and Duguid, 1989, p. 33) with lasting impact on students’ (and teachers’) dispositions, living fruitfully in future experiences (Dewey, 1938) by raising expectation and anticipation of what mathematics can offer, and what the intellectual, emotional and visceral rewards might be when quenching a thirst for mathematics.

Gadanidis, G., Borba, M., Hughes, J. and Lacerda, H. (2016). Designing aesthetic experiences for young mathematicians: A model for mathematics education reform. International Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 6(2), 225-244.