MEd Alumna Melissa Chumakov Wins Award for Thesis on Women in Mathematics Education

Melissa Chumakov, a recent graduate of the Master of Education program (Orillia campus, 2021) and current Secondary Business teacher, has received a Canadian Association for Teacher Education (CATE) Recognition Award for her thesis, Women In Mathematics Education: Pathways to Participation.

Melissa’s thesis focuses on improving women’s participation in mathematics education at the post-secondary level. As noted on the CATE Awards website, her work “highlights women’s experiences through storytelling, as a way of understanding how the complexities of gender identity influence the ways in which women orient themselves in various domains of academia.” 

Using narrative inquiry, her thesis brings together critical feminist theory, psychoanalytical perspectives, and social constructivist theory to share five women’s “personal pathways—including experiences, thoughts, and stories—to becoming a woman mathematics educator at the post-secondary level. The research questions guiding this inquiry are: Why do women decide to teach mathematics education at the post-secondary level? What are the experiences of women mathematics educators who had “overcome barriers”? What are the critical moments along their pathway to participation?”

Melissa recently presented her work via a poster presentation at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education conference, as part of a panel featuring CATE Award winners’ research.