Mathematics Education Teaching and Research Group

The Mathematics Education Teaching and Research Group brings a global perspective to mathematics education. We're committed to research-led teaching locally and globally for the delivery of pre-service teacher education and in-service teacher professional learning.

Our focus

The group aims to develop generative teachers, that is, graduate teachers with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to continuously seek to improve their knowledge of students. We use inquiry-based learning, and promote critical reflection of theory and practice within mathematics.

Our research and practice covers a range of fields, including:

  • mathematical reasoning
  • resilience-building and optimism of mathematics learners and teachers
  • social justice and equity in mathematics
  • mathematical task design to enhance students’ mathematical engagement, reasoning, modelling and problem-solving, e.g. non-routine problems, open-ended problems, games and number talk
  • mathematics leadership and teacher professional learning including demonstration lessons, peer observations, lesson study and learning study
  • problem-solving approaches to teaching mathematics
  • digital technologies for mathematics teaching and learning
  • primary pre-service teacher education.

Study opportunities

Prospective HDR students may have a variety of opportunities with the team. Expert supervision in specified fields is available, and possible teaching and research assistant work.

Mathematics education is taught in these initial teacher education courses, and mathematics specialisations occur in many programs:

There are research and professional education pathways for mathematics educators through the following:

Group members

Our group members have expertise in a variety of research areas.

Please see their individual profiles for research interests and supervision experience.


Higher degree by research (HDR) students work on a range of research projects across mathematics education research areas.

Student projects

Project TitleStudentSupervisor
Primary pre-service teachers' mathematical content knowledge Sharyn Livy Professor Colleen Vale, Dr Sandra Herbert, Dr Leicha Bragg
Task-related emotions in mathematics education Fabio D’Agostin Dr Gaye Williams, Dr Leicha Bragg, Professor Russell Tytler
Second language acquisition through digital games Kristian Kirkwood Dr Leicha Bragg, Dr Esther Loong, Dr Hossein Shokouhi
Beyond worksheet: implementing educational computer game to improve students’ performance in classroom practice in mathematics learning Jiqing SunDr Gaye Williams, Dr Leicha Bragg
Mature-aged students' experience of learning mathematics in regional vocational educationRichard VossDr Julianne Lynch, 
Dr Sandra Herbert
Teacher perspectives of rapid and multiform technological change in K-12 EducationJodi GordonDr Sandra Herbert,  
Dr Julianne Lynch,
Dr Gaelene Hope-Rowe
Students' attitudes towards mathematics and math-gender stereotypes: gender and year levelsYang WuDr Wanty Widjaja, Dr 
Jun Li
Developing pre-service teachers' pedagogical content knowledge through lesson studyMeiliasari MeiliasariDr Wanty Widjaja, 
A/Prof Susie Groves,
Professor Colleen Vale
The implementation of lesson study in mathematics: the case of ZambiaSibeso LikandoA/Prof Susie Groves,
Dr Wanty Widjaja, 
Dr Brian Doig
What is the impact of school-based science units?Rebecca GreeneDr Sandra Herbert,  
Dr Coral Campbell
Influences on perceived understandings and help-seeking in the mathematics classroomJennifer Marie PalisseDr Gaye Williams,
Libby Hirsch

Research projects

Learning to teach mathematics for social justice


The aim of this study is to investigate teaching and learning mathematics for social justice within a teacher education context. We argue teaching mathematics for social justice highlights the enabling role of mathematics and need for social justice within STEM. The study will offer pedagogies of dialogue as possibilities of hope and change.

Research team: Leicha Bragg, Deakin University; Cynthia Nicol, Vanessa Radzimski, Kwesi Yaro, Tiantain He, University of British Columbia

FLEX: Flexible pedagogical problem-solving to enable mathematical problem-solving in class


This study examines the nature of teachers’ implementing of mathematical problem-solving from various theoretical perspectives:

  • eliciting of reasoning
  • focus on teacher noticing
  • teacher questions
  • teacher use of technology
  • classroom culture built
  • optimistic (resilient) teacher actions.

The study will then consider these different theoretical perspectives simultaneously to identify whether, and if so how, teacher optimism can contribute to ability to implement problem solving lessons in ways that previous research has shown can enhance their quality.

Research team: Gaye Williams, Leicha. A Bragg, Sandra Herbert, Jun Li and Wanty Widjaja

Funding: This project has been funded by REDI seeding funding, consultancy fees from professional learning undertaken by Gaye Williams in schools before they became research schools, and DET funding sourced by one of the research schools to continue the project for another year to gain further professional learning benefits.

ReSolve Mathematics by Inquiry Project 2017

This project developed the Assessing Mathematical Reasoning Rubric for assessing reasoning together with illustrations of how teachers have used this resource in their classrooms to assess students’ mathematical reasoning.

Research team: Colleen Vale/Sandra Herbert, Leicha A Bragg,  Esther Loong and Wanty Widjaja

Funding: $123 000, Australian Academy of Science and Australia Association of Mathematics Teachers

DET Transitions Project


This project involved developing a taxonomy to inform the development of strategies to enhance student transition experiences (Grade 6 to Year 7).

Research team: Glenn Auld, Gaye Williams, Esther Loong and Wanty Widjaja

STEM Academy Evaluation

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.

Research team: Russell Tytler and Gaye Williams

Awards and funding

Dr Leicha Bragg

2011: Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation Award for Teaching  Excellence 'for outstanding curriculum and resource development that equips  our future mathematics teachers with the confidence, passion, and skills they  need to support student learning'

2017: Deakin University School of Education Teaching Award for 2014–2016

2009: Deakin University Deans Award for Excellence in Team Teaching

2008: Deakin University Teaching Excellence Award

2001: The Mathematical Association of Victoria Research Scholarship

Dr Wanty Widjaja

2017: Deakin University School of Education Teaching Award for 2015–2017

Dr Gaye Williams

PhD thesis awards

2007: University of Melbourne Chancellor's Prize
2006: Australian Association of Researchers in Education Doctoral Award

Masters Thesis Paper Award

2000: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Early Career Award

Teaching awards

1997: Teacher representing Victoria at Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers' Conference innovative teaching practice
1994: National Excellence in Teaching: Victorian Award


2009–2012: Australian Research Council Fellowship as part of Discovery Grant


The members of the group have extensive research networks and collaborations both nationally and internationally.

Within Australia, we have research collaborations with the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Australian Catholic University, University of Tasmania, University of Queensland, Western Sydney University and Flinders University.

Particular examples of international collaborations include the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada, and the University of Helsinki, Finland.

We also have affiliations with the following organisations:

  • Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
  • 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
  • Indonesian Mathematical Society
  • British Columbia Association of Math Teachers, Canada.


We have affiliations with the following organisations:

  • Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
  • 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
  • Indonesian Mathematical Society
  • British Columbia Association of Math Teachers, Canada.

Contact us

For more information about mathematics education research, please contact Dr Leicha Bragg.

Dr Leicha Bragg
Senior Lecturer in Education (Mathematics Education)
Email Leicha Bragg
+61 3 9244 6404