The Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Mathematics Education Group advances knowledge of the teaching and learning of mathematics.
We do this through:
- Providing high quality research-based education for all of those involved in the teaching of early childhood, primary and secondary school mathematics, through pre-service graduate courses and in-service professional learning programs.
- Supervising research higher degree candidates undertaking Master of Education, Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
- Conducting and publishing research locally and internationally.
- Contributing to the improvement of mathematics education by working with local schools, state and national education authorities, international bodies, professional associations and other national and international colleagues/researchers.
- Engaging with the wider society to promote the learning of mathematics and numeracy.
The Mathematics Education Group's research aims to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Our research encompasses a broad range of areas, including:
- Algebraic thinking
- Catering for students requiring additional support with mathematics
- International comparative studies in mathematics education
- Lesson study
- Numeracy for immigrant and refugee children
- Online assessment of mathematical thinking (SMART tests)
- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education
- Students’ engagement in mathematics education
- Students’ mathematical thinking, including decimals, fractions and algebra
- Symbol use at the secondary-tertiary education interface
- Teachers’ professional learning
- Teachers’ professional statistical literacy
- Technology in mathematics education: teaching, learning and assessment
- Values and valuing in mathematics education.
For further information refer to our staff profiles or search for our staff on research gate.
The Mathematics Education Group is involved in the teaching of a range of courses to enable teachers and educators to update their qualifications, expand their knowledge and bring them to the forefront of international mathematics education research.
We offer mathematics education subjects in the following pre-service teacher education courses:
- Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)
- Master of Teaching (Primary)
- Master of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary)
- Master of Teaching (Secondary)
And in the following postgraduate education courses:
Postgraduate offerings can also be tailored for sponsored cohorts.
We welcome graduate students interested in mathematics education as part of a research higher degree such as Master of Education, Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy. For enrolment and eligibility information visit research degrees.
The Maths Education Group has a long history of working with school systems, schools and professional bodies to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Professional learning programs
We provide a wide range of professional learning services, from in-school teacher professional learning devoted to continuous and collaborative implementation of effective mathematics instruction, to full-day workshops, week-long institutes, and year-long study groups.
Our professional learning programs focus on:
- building teacher capacity for teaching school mathematics
- providing research-informed practices for improving school mathematics
- developing understanding of student thinking in mathematics
- providing leadership for building capacity in school mathematics.
The Maths Education Group regularly develop new relationships with schools and are eager to talk with you about that possibility. For more information about receiving customised professional learning services in your school or network of schools, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some examples of professional learning programs that we have delivered are:
Expert Teaching of Mathematics (years 5-8, Catholic Education Melbourne)
Primary Mathematics and Science Specialists (Department of Education and Training)
Single-day research-based presentations focussing on students’ understanding of either decimals or fractions, taking place within multi-day professional learning programs.
For example, the specific context of understanding decimal notation was used as an introduction to the importance of formative assessment in general, and then participants were introduced to the SMART::test system which provides automated online diagnostic tests in many different topics in the middle years (years 5 to 9). Teaching models and activities were examined which focus on improving conceptual knowledge in these topics.
Numeracy Across the Curriculum
In this program, maths education academics and mathematics teachers of a Western suburb secondary school worked with non-mathematics teachers to integrate numeracy and mathematics into the lessons of the different disciplines.
Purposeful Teaching of Mathematics
A multi-day program designed and delivered for Catholic Education Melbourne to teams of teachers. Focused on building mathematics teaching capacity and promoting purposeful teaching of mathematics.
Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology (focused on years 9-12)
A range of multi-day programs for Catholic Education Melbourne which focused on the use of computer algebra systems (CAS) for teaching, learning and assessment.
Sessions at a range of schools for teachers from F-12 and research students (in metropolitan Melbourne, interstate and internationally).
We actively disseminate and share research and professional experience through published writings in books, journal articles, teacher articles and conference proceedings for researchers and teachers.
For further information refer to our staff profiles or search for our staff on research gate.
Members of the Maths Education Group have produced a range of materials for use by teachers, teacher candidates, graduate students and researchers, including the online resources below.
The Mathematics Developmental Continuum
Provides evidence-based indicators of student progress, allowing teachers to use specific teaching strategies to help students meet the achievement standards of AusVELS Mathematics.
The SMART-tests system (Specific Mathematics Assessments that Reveal Thinking) provides online diagnostic mathematics tests for middle-school students, and reports to their teachers about their current understanding. This information assists teachers to meet the learning needs of their students.
Teaching Number in the Middle Years
Professional learning resources for teachers on the subjects of arithmetic, mental and written computation, and decimals.
Statistical literacy using assessment data-online tutorials
Online tutorials for teachers on how to effectively read NAPLAN assessment data.
RITEMATHS uses real problems (R) and information technology (IT) to enhance (E) students' engagement with and achievement in mathematics (MATHS).
Our experts teach mathematics education subjects, supervise research higher degree students, and conduct their own original and groundbreaking research.
Wee Tiong Seah
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Associate Professor Wee Tiong Seah leads the Mathematics Education Group.
He has been teaching pre-service and in-service courses at Bachelor, Masters and PhD levels since 2002, both locally and overseas.
Wee Tiong leads a 22-nation research consortium called the ‘Third Wave Project’ which coordinates research studies into values/valuing in mathematics education. He is also part of a multi-disciplinary team examining the mathematics learning experiences of immigrant students.
Wee Tiong was featured in the 2014 ‘Encyclopaedia of Mathematics Education’ for one of his studies investigating the professional socialisation experiences of immigrant teachers of mathematics in Australian classrooms.
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Dr Lynda Ball is a senior lecturer in mathematics education.
Her research interests include STEM education, particularly in the areas of teaching and learning school mathematics with technology, teacher professional development for teachers of mathematics, and teaching and learning of school mathematics.
Lynda has had extensive involvement in teacher professional development over many years, including multi-day programs for school systems. She was a member of the team that created the Mathematics Developmental Continuum.
Caroline Bardini is a senior lecturer in mathematics education.
Caroline has a keen interest in issues related to the secondary-tertiary transition in mathematics (she leads a current ARC Discovery Project), as well as building bridges between epistemology and mathematics education.
Caroline's background is in pure mathematics (University of São Paulo) and she has specialised in Mathematics Education (Paris 7).
After working in Canada and Australia for three years, Caroline joined the Mathematics Department of the University of Montpellier for six years. She joined the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) in July 2011.
She was a member of the Mathematics Experts Group for PISA 2012 and was awarded the MGSE Excellence Research Award in 2015.
Scott Cameron is a PhD student in mathematics education.
His research interests include students’ attitudes towards, and use of, technology in the mathematics classroom.
After completing Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Melbourne, Scott worked in secondary schools as a Mathematics and Physics teacher.
Man Ching Esther Chan
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Dr Man Ching Esther Chan is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR) at the University of Melbourne.
She is a registered psychologist who specialises in educational psychology and assessment.
Esther is currently involved in several research projects at the ICCR, including an investigation of collaborative problem solving in mathematics, and a study of the knowledge construction process of mathematics teachers.
She was awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship in 2015 by the Australian Government which enabled her to travel to the United States of America, where she was hosted by the University of California, Berkeley for six months.
Malcolm Cocking is a tutor in mathematics education.
He has contributed in recent years to a variety of mathematics education subjects for early childhood, primary and secondary education.
Malcolm was a teacher of Mathematics at all levels of secondary school for about 35 years. For most of those years he was a member of a number of Victorian mathematics curriculum committees, participated in assessing statewide Year 12 mathematics exams and was a co-author of a secondary mathematics textbook series.
John Dowsey is an honorary staff member of the Mathematics Education Group.
John has been associated with the University of Melbourne either as a student or lecturer for over 50 years. He has been a chief examiner for VCE Specialist Mathematics, and jointly authored many senior mathematics textbooks.
He was awarded a BH Neumann Award from the Australian Mathematics Trust in 2010.
His interests include assessment in the senior levels of secondary education, statistics education, mathematics competitions and problem solving in mathematics education.
Ryan Dunn is a lecturer at the University of Melbourne and an educational consultant.
His university work focuses on primary school mathematics, educational leadership, practitioner research and teacher professional learning.
Ryan has worked extensively in the United States, where he led large-scale research and mathematics professional learning projects in New York City and California.
He is currently a principal investigator for the Teacher Education: Improving Practice, Improving Outcomes project. This project is funded by the Sidney Myer Fund, the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Queensland Department of Education and Training and the 86 participating schools in Victoria and Queensland.
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Derek Holton is an Honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne and Emeritus Professor at the University of Otago.
His current interests include working with a range of schools to promote problem solving in mathematics and an understanding of what mathematicians do.
Derek provides professional development for teachers related to problem solving and the work of mathematicians. He has produced a number of resources, including co-authoring a recent book in the Creative Activities in Mathematics series.
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Carmel Mesiti is Centre Coordinator of the International Centre for Classroom Research (ICCR) at the University of Melbourne.
She is project manager of the Lexicon Project and a research member of the Australian Lexicon Research Team. She has been involved in education for over 20 years.
Her research interests have included lesson structure, lesson beginnings, mathematical tasks and more recently, as part of her doctoral work, the nature of differences in the pedagogical lexicons of education communities internationally.
Carmel began her career in government schools as a secondary school Mathematics Teacher and held leadership positions including Year Level Coordinator and Mathematics Faculty Coordinator.
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Cath Pearn is a lecturer in mathematics education.
She has been a lecturer at The University of Melbourne for more 10 years and has taught in the Master of Teaching programs across all levels – including Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary.
She also teaches in the subject Learning Disabilities: Numeracy.
In addition, Cath is a Senior Research Fellow for the ACER Institute where she provides professional development for teachers, particularly about the ways of identifying and assisting students mathematically ‘at risk’.
Cath developed Mathematics Intervention, a program for Year 1 students mathematically 'at risk', which she continues to support. Her PhD is looking at the links between fractional competence and algebraic thinking.
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Robyn Pierce is an Associate Professor in mathematics education.
Her current interests are in statistical literacy for students and teachers, using technology to support learning in mathematics, algebra and the use of symbols and diagnostic assessment.
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Kaye Stacey is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, having held the Foundation Chair for 20 years.
Kaye has worked as a researcher, teacher educator, supervisor of graduate research and as an adviser to governments. Her research interests centre on mathematical thinking, problem solving, mathematics curriculum and challenges faced in adapting to new technological environments.
She was Chair of the Mathematics Expert Group for the OECD’s 2012 PISA survey and is co-creator of the SMART test system: Specific Mathematic Assessments to Reveal Thinking.
Kaye was awarded a Centenary Medal from the Australian government for outstanding services to mathematical education.
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Dr Vicki Steinle is a senior lecturer in mathematics education.
Her specialist areas are primary education and children’s mathematical thinking.
Vicki is internationally recognised for her research involving students’ misconceptions of decimals. She is extensively involved in teacher professional development, particularly in middle-years’ issues, and was part of the team who created the Mathematics Developmental Continuum for the Victorian State Department of Education.
Vicki is a co-creator of the SMART test system: Specific Mathematic Assessments to Reveal Thinking. SMART tests are short, focussed tests that are delivered online and provide teachers with immediate diagnostic feedback to support teaching.
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Dr Max Stephens is a senior research fellow in mathematics education.
Max's research areas focus on the emergence of algebraic thinking in the middle years, developing a construct of Teacher Capacity, and the cultural conditions needed for the successful adaptation of Lesson Study outside Japan.
He has interests internationally in curriculum and assessment, notably in Japan and in China.
Prior to The University of Melbourne, Max occupied senior roles with the Victorian Department of Education and at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. He has been a reviewer of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics for the Australian Government, and has provided interpretations of international assessments in Mathematics for Australian Schools.
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Duncan Symons is a lecturer in science and mathematics education.
His primary responsibilities involve preparatory teacher education in the fields of primary mathematics and science.
Duncan's research interests include inquiry, investigative and problem based approaches to mathematics education in the primary years. He is also interested in how mathematics can be embedded within the broader curriculum.
The adoption and promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a means to achieve integration has become an area of research and teaching interest, and Duncan facilitates a program for teacher candidates at the University of Melbourne with this as a focus.
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Roger Wander is a Clinical Specialist in the Master of Teaching (both Primary and Secondary programs).
He currently lectures in the STEM stream of School Experience as Breadth.
Roger’s research interests are in the areas of computer algebra systems (CAS) and other technologies in mathematics teaching, and teachers’ statistical literacy.
He has designed and delivered professional development workshops for numeracy and mathematics teachers in primary and secondary schools, with a special interest in mathematical literacy, formative assessment in mathematics education and the use of CAS and dynamic geometry technology.
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Dr Gail FitzSimons is an honorary staff member of the Mathematics Education Group.
Her research interests include adult, vocational and workplace mathematics.
Gail is a Commission Member for the Commission Internationale pour l´Etude et l´Amélioration de l´Enseignement des Mathematiques (CIEAEM), and an Advisory Board Member for the International Study Group on the Relations between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM).
She is Book Review Editor for Educational Studies in Mathematics, and a researcher and author for the Swedish Research Council funded project (2010-2014): Adults’ mathematics: In work and for school.
Peter Flynn is a lecturer in mathematics education.
He possesses a sound understanding of senior secondary school mathematics curricula and has experience using technology in the teaching, learning and assessment of secondary school mathematics.
Daisy O’Bryan is a PhD student in mathematics education.
Her primary interest is in mathematics teachers’ use of digital technology for pedagogical advantage.
She is studying this from the perspective of teacher professional and personal beliefs, including those found in habitual and innovative practices and those needed to take risks with digital technology in and out of the classroom.