Doctoral Studies

Mary Rahiti

Optimal practices for effective school leadership in implementing evidence based mathematics professional learning and development: New Zealand education has many evidence based projects designed to meet needs across the school curriculum. These PLD projects are available to schools to select from as determined by the needs of their learners. At the forefront of the selection and implementation process are school leadership. This project will focus on the optimal practices for effective school leadership in implementing evidence based projcts. The key focus will be on the factors that influence the success of one such PLD projects: Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities.


Melinda Dixon

Community building of culturally contextualised tasks: Designing mathematical tasks that are situated within real-life contexts has been shown to support students in understanding and engaging with mathematical content. This can be challenging for teachers when they are unfamiliar with the cultures and world views of their students. This study uses participant action research and qualitative methods to deliver professional learning to teachers on designing culturally contextualised tasks and evaluate subsequent changes in students' mathematical identities and dispositions.


Generosa Leach

Positioning and status within a community of learners: This study aims to investigate the ways in which students are positioned for agentic participation in mathematics problem solving. Positioning theory offers a lens through which to examine how students’ participation may be developed in ways that make possible meaningful contribution to group activity. Based on the hypothesis that if students are participating they are learning, and when status is equal, everyone learns; individual case studies will be used to investigate the following questions: How does student positioning or status change over time? What do teachers do to (re)position students? How does repositioning change students’ outcomes in participation and achievement?

Julie Whyte

Mathematics Anxiety: Reducing the Fear Factor: This research investigates the mathematical experiences of primary teachers through a large-scale survey. It then seeks to deepen understanding of those experiences through interviews with teachers who have had negative mathematics experiences. The study has its genesis in the researcher’s own observations and knowledge of primary teachers’ conceptions of and experiences with mathematics.