Mathematics Education

The Mathematics Education Research Group develops knowledge, practice and policy in the teaching and learning of mathematics in educational contexts at different levels of education, including teacher preparation.

Group members are academics, research fellows, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and practitioners engaged in a range of research and development projects, some of which overlap with the work of other research groups (notably, the “Subject Pedagogy”, the “Learning and New Technologies”, the “Teacher Education and Professional Learning” and the “Applied Linguistics” research groups).

We maintain a tradition of connecting up-to-date international research and practice while sustaining integrity with the nature of the subject. A focus on learning and teaching mathematics pervades our research, our teaching, and our development work with various groups of people, including those whom we are supporting to become teachers. To achieve this, members of the group use a range of research methodologies, paradigms and ways of working that reflect the complexity of learning mathematics, both in general and of particular topics.

Major themes we research include but are not limited to the following:

  • mathematical thinking and reasoning
  • task design
  • the relation between teaching and learning mathematics
  • social justice issues in the mathematics education system

Mathematical thinking and reasoning:

  • generally, how the mathematical reasoning of all students can be used and developed in school and tertiary mathematics
  • specifically, how algebraic, logical, geometric and trigonometric thinking can be developed, drawing on research about learning, using various media and new technologies. We are also particularly interested in how students develop their understanding of proof.

Task design:

  • whatever the curriculum aims and teaching methods, tasks are at the heart of students’ mathematical experience
  • the fine detail of tasks or sequences of tasks, and the ways they are implemented in the classroom, can make a significant difference to students’ learning opportunities

Relations between teaching and learning mathematics:

  • how teachers can use what is known about students’ mathematical learning
  • examining the relationship between classroom interaction and the teaching and learning of mathematics
  • how to identify the critical aspects of effective mathematics teaching practice
  • how to design and implement theoretically-based and empirically-tested teaching methods for hard-to-learn aspects of mathematics (e.g. proving, problem solving, algebraic thinking)

Social justice issues in the mathematics education system:

  • we approach research into teaching and learning with a proficiency perspective – learning from what teachers and learners do
  • we are particularly interested in those whose mathematical experiences, at school and university, lead to low achievement and/or negative attitudes

The Mathematics Education Research Group is convened by Dr Gabriel Stylianides.

Page last modified: February 19, 2015

Mathematics Education Research Group