I am Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and lead the Mathematics Education team.
I was educated at Cambridge, IOE and London Metropolitan Universities, where I completed a mathematics degree, then a PGCE, MA, and eventually PhD in Mathematics Education. After my early years teaching mathematics in secondary comprehensive schools in Hertfordshire and Suffolk, I became a teacher educator and researcher. I have worked on the mathematics pedagogy aspects of teacher education at Homerton College and the Education Faculty, Cambridge and then IOE in London, where I also led the Masters in Mathematics Education. I joined the Open University in July 2017 with responsiblity for research and curriculum development.
My main research theme is participation in pre-university mathematics. From a post-structural perspective, I am interested in the discourses of ability, pleasure, gender and exceptionalism that are produced by the current English system in which students choose whether to study mathematics after age 16, and in how these discourses may change as government policy moves towards compulsory mathematics across different pathways. From a practical perspective, I am interested in how teachers learn to teach the connected topics of A-level mathematics, and how schools and universities can promote girls' and women's participation in mathematics.
I was principal investigator of a research project Supporting Advanced Mathematics, funded as part of the Further Mathematics Support Programme 2014-17, that used research to identify and develop strategies for increasing participation and capacity in A-level mathematics. Sub-projects included: identifying strategies used by schools with high girls' participation in mathematics; studying the effects on teachers and departments of engaging with the FMSP to provide Further mathematics, studying the rationale, induction and professional learning effects of teaching A-level in early career.
I have worked on subject knowledge and pedagogy strands of teacher training at undergraduate, post-graduate and masters level, as well as supervising doctoral students. I am now working on the production and presentation of the OU's undergraduate modules in Mathematics Education and its short courses for teachers on Open Learn.
My work on mathematics participation and teaching A-level in early career has contributed to developing a DfE-funded course for new teachers targeted at A-level, and now informs the OU's development of courses for teachers on Open Learn and within the undergraduate degree. The Mathematics Education team work closely with schools and colleges via the Maths Hubs, notably our local Enigma Hub.
I prioritise engaging with the mathematics education research community, and encouraging teachers to read research and relate it to their practice. Current thoughts are shared on Twitter as @itchymaths and through the mathematics education blog http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/MathEd/. I have taken part in the Mathematips podcast discussing what Berstein's theory of knowledge can offer maths teachers.
I am a member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and honorary senior lecturer at UCL Institute of Education.
Aiming to have an impact on education policy, I chair the Secondary (11-16) contact group for the Royal Society's Advisory Committee on Mathematis Education. I am on the Expert Advisory Group of the EEF's Centres for Excellence in Mathematics.
I am an editor of the journal Teaching Mathematics and its Applications.