Profile image of Gaye Williams

Dr Gaye Williams

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Senior Lecturer in Education (Mathematics Education)

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

SoE Arts & Ed

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Qualifications

Master of Education, University of Melbourne, 2000
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2006

Contact

gaye.williams@deakin.edu.au
+61 3 924 46629

Career highlights

Career highlights are associated with improving student experiences associated with mathematics learning (intrinsic rewards) and to do so increasing teacher capacity to implement mathematical problem solving. Accompanying these intrinsic rewards have been extrinsic valuings of these goals achieved.

Australian Research Council Fellowship (2009-2012) as part of Discovery Grant

PhD Thesis Awards:

1) University of Melbourne Chancellor's Prize (2007)

2) Australian Association of Researchers in Education Doctoral Award (2006)

Masters Thesis Paper Award:

Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Early Career Award (2000)

Teaching Awards Associated with developing an approach to problem-solving (in senior and junior secondary school classes):

1) Teacher representing Victoria at Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers' Conference (1997): innovative teaching practice

2) National Excellence in Teaching: Victorian Award: 1994

Research interests

The role of optimism in flexible pedagogical practices during mathematical problem solving implementation.

"The role of optimism during collaborative problem solving: Building problem solving capacity"

PhD: Submitted 2005, Confirmed 2006

Williams, G. (2005). Improving intellectual and affective quality in mathematics lessons: How autonomy and spontaneity enable creative and insightful thinking.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. Accessible at: https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/39424

MEd Thesis 2000:

Collaborative Problem Solving in Mathematics: The nature and function of task complexity. Unpublished Masters Thesis, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. Accessible at: https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/39423

Affiliations

Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA)

International Group for Research into the Psychology of Mathematics Education.

Mathematical Association of Victoria

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers

Australian Association of Researchers in Education.

Teaching interests

Undergraduate and Master of Teaching (Secondary):

Secondary Mathematics Education Curriculum Studies

Undergraduate Primary:

Fourth Year Mathematics Education (Primary)

Master of Teaching (Primary):

Fostering students' engagement in mathematics learning

Master of Education:

Knowledge Learners and Learning

Supervision of PhD and MEd research students:

Exciting research projects about group interactions, student emotions and mathematics tasks, and teacher actions inflluencing the quality of student conversation in mathematics classes

Knowledge areas

The role of context (including teaching approach, social interactions, group composition, personal characteristics, and task) in the construction of insights during mathematical problem-solving activity.

Knowledge construction processes occurring during mathematical problem-solving

Influences of personal characteristics on knowledge construction including:

- the role of optimism (resilience) on collaborative problem-solving activity

- the role of optimism on teachers' inclination to implement group problem-solving activity

- Optimism building approaches (to problem-solving in class and professional learning of teachers) and processes of optimism building

- associations between optimism building and increased problem-solving capacity

Teaching approaches enabling autonomous, spontaneous and creative knowledge construction in mathematics

Group interactions influencing the construction of knowledge in mathematics education

Task features that influence opportunities to construct mathematical insights

Influences of group interactions on the construction of knowledge across other subject domains.

The relevance of the above research directions to STEM education research.

Awards

2009 Dean's Award: Best Early Career Researcher, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University.

2008 Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship (2009-2012)

2007 Chancellor's Prize, University of Melbourne

2006 Doctoral Thesis Award for Research in Education, AARE (Australian Association for Research in Education)

2002 Mathematical Association of Victoria PhD Research Scholarship

2001-2003 Dept. Science and Mathematics Eduction (University of Melb) Post Graduate Research Scholarship.

2000 Early Career Award, MERGA (Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia)

1997 Victorian Representative for Innovative Mathematics Teaching, AAMT (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)

1994 Victorian Award for Excellence in Teaching, NIETA (National Excellence in Teaching)

Projects

1. FLEX: Flexible pedagogical problem-solving to enable mathematical problem-solving in class (Funded through consultancies associated with findings from ARC project, and DET funding to continue the research project due to its professional learning impact on participating schools). This is a study of teacher change during whole school / whole cluster professional learning programs informed by previous study of the role of resilience (optimism) in student problem-solving activity leading to the question: "what is the role of optimism in pedagogical problem-solving activity?' Research team includes Drs Leicha Bragg, Esther Loong, Sandra Herbert, Wanty Wadjaja, and Jun Li each examining teacher activity from different perspectives (teacher attention, teacher technology use during problem solving, teacher identifying of reasoning, teacher questioning, and teacher negotiating of tasks). These perspectives will be networked to link a framework of optimistic pedagogical problem solving with previously identified elements of high quality teaching.

2. DET Transitions Project (Glenn Auld, Gaye Williams, Esther Loong, Wanty Wadjaja): developing a taxonomy to inform the development of strategies to enhance student transition experiences (Grade 6 to Year 7).

3. STEM Academy Evaluation (CIs: Russell Tytler, Gaye Williams)
This project investigates the effectiveness of a workshop and mentor model provided by a university to develop teacher professional learning and student engagement in discipline specific and integrated STEM curricula.

4. Wenona Girls School, Promoting professional learning communities in STEM Education (CIs Russell Tytler, Gaye Williams, Peter Hubber)
This project investigates the professional learning pathways of science and mathematics teachers, and student learning, around inquiry approaches supported by workshops and video capture.

5. CSIRO: Assessment of the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools Program (CIs Russell Tytler, Gaye Williams, Peta White, David Symington, Coral Campbell, Gail Chittleborough, Gareth Upstill), This project evaluated the model and outcomes of the CSIRO managed SMiS program using a variety of evaluative tools including an economic analysis.


6. Department of Education and Training (VIC).2015. Transition: Improved literacy and numeracy outcomes (successful strategies) (CIs Auld, Williams, Loong, Widjaja)

7. ARC Discovery Project with APD Fellowship (2009-2012). The role of optimism in collaborative problem solving in mathematics: building problem solving capacity (Gaye Williams). Longitudinal video-stimulated interview study across Grade 4/5/6 classrooms to study optimistic activity, how optimism builds, and links between increased optimism and increased problem solving capacity.

8. Pilot to this (Deakin Central Research Grant): Collaborative problem solving in small groups with intermittent whole class feedback (Class Collaboration) intended to lead to the creative development of mathematical insight. Study examines the role of optimism in collaborative creation of mathematical ideas and concepts.

9. International Learners' Perspective Study (2000-ongoing)

Publications

Filter by

2016

Slient gazing during geometry problem solving, insights from eye tracking

M Hannula, G Williams

(2016), Vol. 2, pp. 353-360, PME 40 : Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education : Mathematics Education. How to solve it?, Szeged, Hungary, E1

conference

Inclining to explore mathematically and pedagogically: students and teachers possessing the same characteristics

G Williams

(2016), pp. 87-97, MAV 2016: Maths explosion : Proceedings of the 53rd Mathematics Association of Victoria 2016 Annual Conference, Bundoora, Victoria, E1

conference

Grade 3/4 developing big mathematical ideas: Sharon and her little red book

S Goldfinch, G Williams

(2016), pp. 107-115, MAV 2016 : Maths explosion : Proceedings of the Mathematical Association of Victoria 2016 Annual Conference, Bundoora, Victoria, E1

conference
2015

Learning and cognition in mathematics

G Williams, Huang, H-M

(2015), pp. 497-502, The proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education : intellectual and attitudinal challenges, Cham, Switzerland, B1

chapter
2014

Optimistic problem-solving activity: enacting confidence, persistence, and perseverance

Gaye Williams

(2014), Vol. 46, pp. 407-422, ZDM, Heidelberg, Germany, C1

journal
2013

Studying learners in intercultural contexts

Y Shimizu, G Williams

(2013), pp. 145-167, Third international handbook of mathematics education, New York, N. Y., B1

chapter

High performance, confidence, and disinclination to explore: a case study

G Williams

(2013), pp. 658-665, MERGA36 2013 : Mathematics Education: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow : Proceedings of the 36th Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia 2013 conference, Melbourne, Vic., E1

conference

Associations between the ontogenesis of confidence and inclination to explore unfamiliar mathematical problems

G Williams

(2013), pp. 393-400, PME 2013 : Proceedings of the 37th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 2013, Kiel, Germany, E1

conference
2011

Building optimism in prospective mathematics teachers : psychological characteristics enabling flexible pedagogy

G Williams

(2011), pp. 307-323, Constructing knowledge for teaching secondary mathematics : tasks to enhance prospective and practicing teacher learning, New York, N. Y., B1

chapter

Queries without hints, affirming, or 'telling', that sustained spontaneous problem solving activity

G Williams

(2011), pp. 795-803, Mathematics : traditions and (new) practices : proceedings of the AAMT-MERGA conference held in Alice Springs, 3-7 July 2011, incorporating the 23rd Biennial Conference of The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc. and the 34th Annual Confere, Alice Springs, N.T., E1

conference

Relationships between cognitive, social, and optimistic mathematical problem solving activity

G Williams

(2011), pp. 345-352, PME 2011 : Developing mathematical thinking : Proceedings of the 35th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Ankara, Turkey, E1

conference
2010

Abstracting by constructing and revising a 'partially correct construct' : a case study

G Williams

(2010), pp. 634-641, MERGA 2010 : Shaping the future of mathematics education : Proceedings of the 33rd annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Fremantle, W.A., E1

conference

Symbiosis between creative mathematical thinking accompanied by high positive affect, and optimism

G Williams

(2010), pp. 297-304, PME : Proceedings of 34th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics (Vol. 4), Belo Horizonte, Brazil, E1

conference
2009

Comparing and contrasting methodologies : a commentary

A Bikner-Ahsbahs, G Williams

(2009), pp. 261-265, Transformation of knowledge through classroom interaction, London, England, B1

chapter

Engaged to learn pedagogy : theoretically identified optimism-building situations

G Williams

(2009), pp. 595-602, MERGA 32 : Crossing divides : mathematics education research group of Australasia : Proceedings of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Conference 2009, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, E1

conference

Spontaneous student questions : informing pedagogy to promote creative mathematical thinking

G Williams

(2009), pp. 345-349, PME 2009 : Proceedings of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 2009 annual meeting, Thessaloniki, Greece, E1

conference

Student-created tasks inform conceptual task design

G Williams

(2009), pp. 165-184, Mathematical tasks in classrooms around the world, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, B1

chapter
2008

Learning to design in small group mathematical modeling

T Wood, M Hjalmarson, G Williams

(2008), pp. 187-212, Models and modeling in engineering education : designing experiences for all students, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, B1

chapter

Connecting the learners' and teacher's perspectives : capturing complex classroom interactions

G Williams

(2008), pp. 99-100, International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education : proceedings of the joint meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX, Morelia, Mexico, E1

conference

Contrasting theoretical approaches to the analysis of classroom data : studying students' creative development of new mathematical knowledge

G Williams

(2008), International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education : proceedings of the joint meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX, Morelia, Mexico, E1

conference

Group composition : influences of optimism and lack thereof

G Williams

(2008), pp. 425-432, International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education : proceedings of the joint meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX, Morelia, Mexico, E1

conference

How group composition can influence opportunities for spontaneous learning

G Williams

(2008), MERGA 2008 : Navigating currents and charting directions : MERGA 31 Conference Proceedings, Brisbane, Qld., E1

conference

The construction of knowledge : theoretical approaches

T Dreyfus, M Thomas, J Brown, G Williams

(2008), pp. 665-666, MERGA 31: Mathematics education research : navigating : proceedings of the 31st annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, held at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld, Australia,28th June-1st July 2008, University of Queensland, Brisbane, E1

conference
2007

Listening to students' voices in mathematics education

B Doig, S Groves, C Campbell, J Mousley, G Williams

(2007), pp. 884-884, Mathematics : essential research, essential practice : proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Hobart, Tas., E1

conference

Classroom teaching experiment : eliciting creative mathematics thinking

G Williams

(2007), pp. 257-264, Proceedings of the 31st conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Seoul, South Korea, E1

conference

Abstracting in the context of spontaneous learning

G Williams

(2007), Vol. 19, pp. 69-88, Mathematics education research journal, Adelaide, S. A., C1-1

journal
2006

Autonomous looking-in to support creative mathematical thinking: capitalising on activity in Australian LPS classrooms

G Williams

(2006), pp. 221-236, Mathematics classrooms in twelve countries: the insider`s perspective, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, B1

chapter

Impetus to explore: approaching operational deficiency optimistically

G Williams

(2006), pp. 393-400, Mathematics in the centre : proceedings of the 30th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Charles University, Faculty of Education, Prague, Czech Republic 16-21 July 2006, Prague, Czech Republic, E1

conference

Student-engineered 'space to think'

G Williams

(2006), pp. 567-575, Identities, cultures and learning spaces : proceedings of the 29th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Canberra, A.C.T., E1

conference

Children's mathematical thinking in different classroom cultures

T Wood, G Williams, B McNeal

(2006), Vol. 37, pp. 222-252, Journal for research in mathematics education, Reston, Va., C1

journal
2005

Consolidating one novel structure whilst constructing two more

G Williams

(2005), pp. 313-320, Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Melbourne, Vic., E1

conference
2004

The nature of spontaneity in high quality mathematics learning experiences

G Williams

(2004), pp. 433-440, PME 28 2004 : Inclusion and diversity : Proceedings of the 28th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Bergen, Norway, E1-1

conference
2003

Empirical generalisation as an inadequate cognitive scaffold to theoretical generalisation of a more complex concept

G Williams

(2003), pp. 419-426, Proceedings of the 2003 joint meeting of PME and PMENA : PME27/PME-NA25, Honolulu, Hawaii, E1-1

conference

Associations between student pursuit of novel mathematical ideas and resilience

G Williams

(2003), pp. 752-759, Mathematics Education Research : Innovation, Networking, Opportunity : Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, held at Deakin University, Geelong, 6th-10th July 2003, Geelong, Australia, E1-1

conference

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

The role of optimism in collaborative problem-solving in mathematics: Building problem solving capacity

Dr Gaye Williams

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2012: $64,751
  • 2011: $74,048
  • 2010: $72,900
  • 2009: $102,025

Other Public Sector Funding

The Role of Optimism in Collaborative Problem Solving

Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2006: $817

Supports and barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) engagement in Primary-Secondary transition

Prof Russell Tytler, Prof Jonathan Osborne, Dr Helen Forgasz, Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2008: $75,858

Pilot Tech Next Mid-Year intake - selection, recruitment & placement of participants (Phase 1) & course delivery (Phase 2)

A/Prof Damian Blake, Prof Russell Tytler, Prof Chris Hickey, A/Prof Alex Kostogriz, A/Prof Peter Hubber, Prof Brenton Doecke, Dr Gaye Williams, Dr Gail Chittleborough

  • 2012: $439,514

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy - Literature Review

A/Prof Colleen Vale, A/Prof Damian Blake, Dr Glenn Auld, Dr Leicha Bragg, A/Prof Louise Paatsch, Dr Trace Ollis, A/Prof Joanne O'Mara, Dr Gaye Williams, Dr Sarah Ohi

  • 2013: $54,420

Transition: Improved Literacy and Numeracy Outcomes (Successful strategies)

Dr Glenn Auld, Dr Esther Loong, Dr Wanty Widjaja, Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2015: $59,670

Assessment of impact and value: Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools Program

Prof Russell Tytler, Dr Coral Campbell, Dr Gail Chittleborough, Dr Gaye Williams, Dr Peta White, Prof David Symington, Mr Garrett Upstill

  • 2015: $99,710

Secondary STEM Catalysts: professional learning program

A/Prof Peter Hubber, Prof Russell Tytler, Dr Coral Campbell, A/Prof Colleen Vale, Dr John Cripps Clark, Dr Linda Hobbs, Dr Peta White, Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2017: $295,146
  • 2016: $48,403

Flexible Pedagogies Project

Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2016: $4,545

Industry and Other Funding

Wenona School: STEM research

Prof Russell Tytler, A/Prof Peter Hubber, Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2016: $60,180
  • 2015: $35,670

Other Funding Sources

STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy 2015-2016 Evaluation Project

Prof Russell Tytler, Dr Gaye Williams

  • 2016: $24,000

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2017

Jennifer Marie Palisse

Thesis entitled: Influences on Perceived Understandings and Help Seeking in the Mathematics Classroom

Master of Education (Research), School of Education

2016

Rosemary Buchanek

Thesis entitled: Negotiating Differences: Stimulating Creative Geographical Thinking through Critical Engagement

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education

Associate Supervisor
2014

Alberto Paolo Rizzo

Thesis entitled: Changing Secondary Teachers¿ Practices With ICT: An Insider¿s Account

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education

2012

Brian Doig

Thesis entitled: Reporting Large-scale Assessment on a Single Formative-Summative Scale

Doctor of Philosophy (Education), School of Education