University of Calgary

Brent Davis

  • Professor


Brent Davis was born and raised in northern Alberta, where he also taught secondary school mathematics and science through most of the 1980s. Upon completion of graduate studies in the mid-90s, he began his university career at UBC, then moved to York University, then the University of Alberta (where he was Canada Research Chair in Mathematics Education and the Ecology of Learning), then back to UBC (as David Robitaille Chair in Mathematics Education), and finally to the University of Calgary (as Distinguished Research Chair in Mathematics Education). He currently holds a Werklund Professorship.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Brent Davis’s research is focused on the educational relevance of recent developments in the cognitive and complexity sciences. He has published books and articles in the areas of mathematics learning and teaching, curriculum theory, teacher education, epistemology, and action research. The principal foci of his research are teachers’ disciplinary knowledge of mathematics and the sorts of structures and experiences that might support mathematics learning among teachers. He has authored or co-authored five books and his scholarly writings have appeared in Science, Harvard Educational Review, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, and other leading journals.

Current Projects:

Working at the School Level to Transform the Culture of Mathematics Learning (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada)

Advancing Research Methodology in Mathematics Education for Collective Learning Systems (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada)

Math Minds (funded by Canadian Oil Sands)

Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years (funds through the IOSTEM Initiative)


PhD in Secondary Education (1994)
University of Alberta

MEd in Secondary Education (1990)
University of Alberta

BEd, specializing in Mathematics Education (1984)
University of Alberta


Davis, Brent, Dennis Sumara, & Rebecca Luce-Kapler. (2015). Engaging Minds: Cultures of Education and Practices of Teaching. New York: Routledge.

Davis, Brent & the Spatial Reasoning Study Group. (2015). Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years: Principles, Assertions, and Speculations. New York: Routledge.

Davis, Brent & Moshe Renert. (2014). The Math Teachers Know: Profound Understanding of Emergent Mathematics. New York: Routledge.

Davis, B. (2011) Mathematics teachers’ subtle, complex disciplinary knowledge. Science, 332, 1506-1507.

Photograph of Brent Davis
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