Search type

Manchester Institute of Education

Abate L Kenna

Previous education and experience

Abate L Kenna
  • Master of Liberal Arts (A.L.M., 2013), Mathematics for Teaching, Harvard University, USA.
  • Master of Arts (M.A., 2004), Curriculum and Instruction, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
  • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed., 1998), Pedagogical Science/ Mathematics, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.

Professional qualifications

  • MA Academic Licensure: Mathematics for grades 5-12, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, USA.
  • Social and Behavioural Research Investigators certificate (2013), CITI at the University of Miami, USA.
  • Introductory Certificate in Team Leading (2006), Institute of Leadership & Management, United Kingdom.
  • Module Preparation & Material Development Certificate (2006), Robe Teachers College, Ethiopia.
  • Higher Diploma Licensure for Certified Professional Teacher Educator (2006), Debub University, Ethiopia.
  • A+ Certificate in Hardware Maintenance (2004), Memory Computer Trading PLC, Ethiopia.
  • Teaching Certificate in Mathematics for Grade 1 & 2 (2002), GTZ, Primary Education Assistance Project, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • School Management for Secondary School Principals (2001), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
  • Gender Sensitive Counselling Certificate (1999), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.


Abate has worked 16+ years in business and education institutions in Ethiopia and USA. He served in various responsibilities including research assistant, teaching assistant, assistant manager, high school maths teacher, high school principal, lecturer, college vice-dean, college dean, and university academic and research vice president. He is currently a graduate research student in the Mathematics Education Ph.D. program. 

Thesis title

The Impact of Mathematics Game based Learning on Young Children’s Higher Order Thinking Skills and Mathematics Performance


Research details

Within the background of the current curriculum changes implemented in September 2014 it is important to investigate the impact of technology on the learning and teaching of mathematics.  The purpose of this study is to understand how mathematics game based learning supports young children’s higher order thinking skills and academic performance.

The ever changing technology in the 21st century has a direct impact on how we teach mathematics education. So, to help the younger generation to cope with this ever changing world, we need to teach transferable higher order skills that can help them. Some of these skills are problem solving ability and critical thinking. Countries such as the UK and USA emphasize the importance of teaching higher order skills in their school curriculum. For example, the new British National Curriculum and the United States Core Curriculum state that children should develop skills that help them to adapt to the changing world. Thus, children should not be taught facts or methods only, they need to investigate problems themselves.

Children like play; games have a significant role in children’s learning (Perrotta, C., Featherstone, G., Aston, H. and Houghton, E., 2013; Miller et al. 2011). There are various pieces of literature that support playing games enhances students’ learning, motivation and interests (Shin,N., Sutherland,L., Norris,C. & Soloway,E. 2012). The reality we are in and the emergence of globalization and a global economy necessitates the use of technology in our everyday lives. The silicon chip technology has revolutionized the way we teach and learn mathematics in our schools through the internet or by using mathematical software. Therefore, technology has become something that we cannot avoid using in mathematics instruction. However, there is currently not enough empirical evidence to support the relationship between games based learning and young children’s higher order thinking ability.

The results of this study will provide valuable information to primary school teachers and leaders about the impact of the modes of play of mathematics game based learning on students’ higher order thinking skills and mathematics performance. It also will provide an insight into how game based learning enhances or hinders the development of students’ higher order thinking skills and their maths performance. Finally, knowing the impact of game based learning on student’s higher order thinking skills and academic performance will help designers, curriculum experts and policy makers to facilitate students’ understanding of mathematics.

Research interests

My main areas of research interest include diversity and mathematics, technology and maths, EYFS to post 16 maths curriculum, methodology and action research.

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