MA Mathematics Education staff directory

Meet our staff and find out about their research interests.

David Burghes

david.burghes@plymouth.ac.uk

David has been involved in mathematics education for most of his career and has taught mathematics from reception to university degree level.

He is director of the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (CIMT) at the University of Plymouth. David has directed three longitudinal international projects in comparative mathematics education in primary, secondary and teacher training. These involved working with countries such as Finland, Hungary, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. 

Each of these projects has led to reports with detailed recommendations for good practice in mathematics teaching and training as well as curriculum development. Recently he worked as the teaching and learning expert for the Core Maths Support Project. 

David recognises the potential of lesson study combined with interesting and relevant problems as a starting point to motivate and re-energize teachers and learners for new mathematical topics.

Derek Robinson

djrjpr@gmail.com

Derek has had 30 years of teaching in a variety of secondary comprehensive schools and was Head of Mathematics at Bishop Luffa School in Chichester for 13 years. Here he transformed the failing department into an incredibly successful one, taking on Japanese style lesson study not just in mathematics but across the whole school.

He has worked collaboratively with CIMT over the past 15 years, firstly implementing an interactive style of teaching and learning and more recently taking the lead in developing online masters degree modules for the University of Plymouth. 

Derek also took on the role of lead teacher for the Core Maths Support Programme and was instrumental in developing motivating and relevant problem solving in context and in producing Core Maths News to help teachers to develop motivating and inspiring lessons.

Naomi Sani

naomi.sani@plymouth.ac.uk

Naomi has been working in the education sector for over twenty five years and has had leadership, management, research, teaching and training roles in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. 

Since 2005, Naomi has had various consultancy roles with the University of Plymouth, the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT). More recently, she was a Regional Adviser for the Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP). 

Naomi is a published author and has a very successful book (HOW TO DO MATHS SO YOUR CHILDREN CAN TOO), and a number of published articles. She is currently an Associate Lecturer and Associate Fellow with the University of Plymouth, delivering mathematics professional development to non-specialist teachers and has been awarded a PhD for her longitudinal study based on these courses.

Russell Geach

russell.geach@plymouth.ac.uk

Russell has been responsible for the CIMT website since 2008 as web master, with direct responsibility for websites for the International projects that CIMT has led. He has responsibility for feedback to queries about CIMT’s web based resources and also for teachers on Teacher Subject Specialism Training (TSST) courses.

Russell is a trained secondary maths teacher with experience of teaching mathematics in comprehensive schools in Bournemouth before joining CIMT. As manager of CIMT, he is responsible for the delivery of projects as well as financial management for the Centre.

More recently, he has been taking a lead role in teacher training and is engaged on a part time PhD that is focussed on the impact on teaching and learning of current Core Maths courses.

Tom Cowan

tom.cowan@plymouth.ac.uk

Tom has been working in two secondary schools in the North West, being promoted to Head of Department with responsibility for data, achievement and attainment across the whole academy.

He has also worked for the Open University as a part time tutor on several mathematics education modules, with responsibility for lecturing cohorts of their students and looking after their wellbeing whilst studying.

Since appointment to the University of Plymouth, Tom has taken responsibility as the PGCE Secondary Programme Lead as well as teaching on the primary education modules and is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education.

He is an active member of the ATM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics).

Sam Townsend

samantha.townsend@plymouth.ac.uk

Sam is an experienced primary school teacher, working in a number of Devon schools; she also worked part time for the University of Exeter for their Student Associate Scheme.

She gained her masters degree at the University of Exeter, focused on factors affecting pupils’ mathematical progress between Key Stages 1 and 2 and moved into teacher training at the University of Plymouth, overseeing and facilitating the primary maths education courses and has taken on the role of Mathematics Subject Lead.

Sam is now undertaking a part time PhD, focused on the provision for primary teacher trainees, particularly those that come into the profession without a strong background in mathematics. This research will consider good international practice with a focus on the mathematically high performing countries, including Finland, New Zealand and Japan.