I began my career as a high-school Mathematics teacher in Vancouver, Canada upon completing a BA in Mathematics (First Class Honours) and BEd in Secondary Mathematics Education at the The University of British Columbia. My passion towards mathematics education continued to motivate me to further my studies in this area. After obtaining my MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at The University of British Columbia, I earned a PhD in Mathematics Education at Simon Fraser University in 2016 and later served briefly as a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at University of Calgary. Currently, I serve as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2018, I have been serving as Deputy Programme Coordinator for the Bachelor of Education in Mathematics and Mathematics Education (BMED) Programme. I am a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Mathematical Behavior (Elsevier), Journal of Educational Computing Research (Sage), and Digital Experience in Mathematics Education (Springer), and Journal for STEM Education Research (Springer), and most recently, Educational Studies in Mathematics (Springer)
Since joining CUHK in August 2016, I have developed and extended three research areas in mathematics and STEM education which are of local and global significance: (1) technology-enhanced teaching and learning in mathematics classrooms, (2) constructionist learning and computational thinking education, and (3) multimodality in mathematics discourse. These research areas are informed by my previous doctoral research on the interaction between technological and mathematical evolution, and by emerging literature on new ways of doing, communicating, and representing mathematics as afforded by technology innovations.
In turn, I have been investigating teachers’ and students’ mathematical discourse as situated in technologically-enhanced learning environments. As shown in my research, this type of discourse is often rich in a multimodal sense, involving both verbal and non-verbal communication, such as gestures. My research has been acknowledged and funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC). These research projects contribute towards advancing Seymour Papert’s theory of Constructionism in today’s era of technology-enhanced mathematics classrooms. In particular, I developed and coined the term ‘learning as Making’ (Ng & Chan, 2019) to explicate the new opportunities entailed by engaging learners in constructionist practices with emergent technologies (e.g. 3D printing, programmable electronics, etc).
- Principal Investigator (2019-Present). The Effects of Implementing a ‘Learning as Making’ Pedagogy on School Mathematics Learning: Primary Students’ Inquiry-based Making with 3D Printing Pens. Funded by Research Grant Council (Hong Kong), Early Career Scheme ($499,381 HKD).
- Principal Investigator (2020-present). Mathematical Problem Solving through Digital Making: Envisioning a Computationally Enhanced Mathematics Curriculum in Hong Kong’s Primary and Secondary Schools. Funded by the Research Grants Council (Hong Kong), General Research Fund ($638,908 HKD).
- Principal Investigator (2022-present). Supporting Hong Kong ethnic minority learners’ multimodal mathematics learning through responsive teaching in technology-enhanced environments. Funded by the Research Grants Council (Hong Kong), General Research Fund ($424,000 HKD).
My ongoing ECS research investigates the effect of implementing 3D printing and the pedagogy of ‘learning as Making’ on school mathematics learning. This context responds to worldwide call for teaching and learning abstract mathematics concepts in hands-on, technological, and innovation-oriented environments. My research publications address both teachers’ expertise and student learning outcomes in classrooms integrating 3D printing. For example, in my recent publication (Ng & Chan, 2021) in the British Journal of Educational Technology (SSCI Education & Educational Research Q1: 31/263; 5-year IF=3.484), I use the method of video-aided reflections as a means to facilitate teachers’ professional growth in realising the affordances of 3D printing in mathematics education. In another work, I conceptualise a three-fold characteristic of constructionist mathematics learning with 3D printing: Making as mathematising, Making as co-constructing, Making as inventing (Ng & Ferrara, 2020).
My ongoing GRF research was informed by my ECS project and previously developed conception of “learning as Making”; it envisions a computationally enhanced mathematics education to support students’ mathematical problem solving in primary and secondary schools. Surrounding calls for enhancing computational thinking as a new literacy and problem solving as a global competence in school settings, this research is timely and important. I have thus far published some research findings (Ng & Cui, 2021; Cui & Ng, 2021; Ng et al., 2021) to broaden the theoretical and empirical bases for computationally enhanced mathematical problem solving Overall, this research contributes to understanding how constructionist pedagogy may transform mathematics education from being characterized as linear, abstract, and paper-and-pencil dominant to multimodal, hands-on, and technological. Based on my previous work, these new learning environments may give rise to new communication patterns and modes of thinking with mathematics, which I am currently investigating. There is also potential for interdisciplinary research, since computational thinking is a 21st century competence across STEAM disciplines.
Serving as co-investigator, I have been collaborating with scholars on other research projects, including a GRF project on dialogic mathematics classroom discourse (Ng et al., 2020b; Ng et al., 2021; Ni et al., 2017) and a World University Network (WUN) project comprising of researchers from seven universities in five continents, who are working with curriculum experts and disciplinary specialists in mathematics, climate science and indigenous knowledge, in order to develop curricula innovations in mathematics education in response to climate and education for sustainability (Brown et al., 2020; Ng et al., 2020c). My ongoing research will fill the research gap with regard to the changing nature of knowledge, learning and pedagogy in the digital age. I plan to continue this line of research of exploring the impact of different forms of technology-enhanced environments on school mathematics and STEM learning.
See my research grants record here.
See my publications and conference presentations record here.
Awards and Fellowships
- Young Researcher Award 2020, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Best Presentation Award (2019) – International Conference on Advances in STEM Education 2019. [Presentation title: Developing computational thinking and mathematical problem solving through digital Making.]
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2016) – University of Calgary
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (2014-2016) – Simon Fraser University
- Graduate Fellowship (2012-2014) – Simon Fraser University
- Minor Travel and Research Award (2013) – Simon Fraser University
- Craig Newell Memorial Mathematics Education Scholarship (2013) – Simon Fraser University
- First Class Graduate Distinction (2003) – University of British Columbia
- Chan Tat Chee Memorial Education Abroad Scholarship (2002) – University of British Columbia
- Dean’s List (2001) – University of British Columbia