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After graduating with a Mathematics degree and completing a 1-year teaching qualification I taught mathematics (and computing studies) for 15 years in the City of Edinburgh (formerly Lothian Region). During that time I taught in three large secondary comprehensive schools as well as working as a Curriculum Development Officer (Standard Grade) in the regional offices. My last teaching appointment was as Principal Teacher of mathematics, a post I held for seven years, overseeing curricular changes and managing a department of twelve. Following a period of work as Depute Head (acting) I opted to pursue a post in Teacher Education, an appointment that allowed me to focus on mathematics education and teacher development.
Transition to higher education afforded greater opportunities to engage in research and personal development. In 2001 I completed a Masters in Social and Educational Research with thesis title of Hand-held Technology in the Classroom – Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions of Benefits and Barriers, a study based on the introduction of Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) in a year-12 mathematics course. Other research interests include: a numeracy investigation into the role of a Soroban (Japanese Abacus) in supporting learners development of number sense and computational skills for addition and subtraction funded by the Nuffield Foundation ( http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/using-soroban-develop-strategies-mental-calculation); and a project on pupils’ identity with mathematics as witnessed through textbooks, part of an ESRC-funded project on Mathematical relationships: identities and participation ( http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/events/mathematicalrelationships/).
In 2014 I was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy for my thesis on Using and Applying International Survey Data on Mathematics and Science Education. This study was completed with the support of an ESRC/Scottish Government PhD Studentship. There were two purposes set out in this study, first to identify the principal determinants of educational performance of Scottish students as reported in the 2007 wave of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and second to evaluate methods of analysis that handle plausible value methodology witnessed in sample-survey data as located in the TIMSS data sets.
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This article was published on Sep 22, 2014