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Lynch School of Education

Dennis DeBay

lynch school of education

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Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Academic Background:  B.A. in Mathematics and Music, Dalhousie University
Current Program of Study: Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction, concentration in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

What did you do before studying at LSOE?

Following the completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Music from Dalhousie University in 2001, I was the founder and owner of a learning center in Halifax, Novia Scotia. In 2008, I earned a Master’s degree in Teacher Education with a focus on Mathematics Education from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Prior to matriculation to the doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction, my professional roles have also included an adjunct mathematics faculty member at Dalhousie University (Canada) and a position as a Mathematics and Computer Science teacher in the Peabody Public School District in Peabody, MA for 4 years.

What are your research interests?

My interests are related to technological learning environments and real life experiences as mediating factors between teaching and learning mathematics. Current research involves exploring student understanding of graphical interpretations of data through urban planning. Students use geospatial technologies and collect scientific data to explore issues of social and environmental justice. Students visit vacant lots to collect base-line data regarding the specific site and use that data to evaluate potential urban plans. Students develop their new design and create graphs using technology to evaluate the sustainability, economic viability, and environmental impacts of their design. Other research interests involve assistive technologies in secondary math; and computer technologies as a tool for students’ understanding of word problems in math.

What led you to pursue graduate studies at the Lynch School of Education?

What lead me to the choice of the Lynch School C&I doctoral program was the diverse and accomplished faculty, the strong community of learners and the Lynch School mission of social justice and equity for all teachers and students.

How have you gained practical experience at the Lynch School of Education?

Currently, my assistantship time is split between two different professors (Dr. M. Barnett and Dr. R. Mitchell). With Dr. Barnett, I am currently working on projects that involve the use of use of geospatial technologies to explore issues of social and environmental justice for students as well as creating a hydroponics program where students are building and testing hydroponics systems so schools can grow their own food and students are able to look at several mathematical models involved in the growth of food (ie, statistics to compare growth rates of vegetables, the economics of selling produce, etc.). With Dr. Mitchell I am doing research that involves the use of emerging technology in mathematics teaching and learning, Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, Mathematics Quality of Instruction the teacher-student-curriculum relationship, linguistic issues for elementary teachers and students while working on word problems and issues in urban education.  

What are your career goals?

To continue my scholarly and service aspirations by becoming a professor of Mathematics Education with a goal of continuing to teach and learn with all levels of education--formal and informal. I will continue to focus my work on using technology as a mediating factor between mathematics teaching and learning while always considering the importance of propagating equity in all mathematics classrooms.