1991 …2021

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Personal profile

Biography

Helen Forgasz is an emeritus professor of education in the Faculty of Education. Her research focus has been mathematics education, with a particular interest in equity issues and learning outcomes. She has won numerous grants to support her research endeavours, and has published her research findings widely. Helen has successfully supervised many Masters and PhD students whose mathematics education topics have ranged widely.

Helen's main research interest is on equity issues in mathematics education learning outcomes: achievement, participation (enrolments and career paths), and affect (attitudes and beliefs). Gender has been the main focus of her work, but ethnicity, socio-economic background, and Indigeneity are equity factors that have also featured in her research studies. The contexts in which these issues have been explored have been at the local, national, and international level.

Researching the outcomes of various ways in which to group students for mathematics learning - single-sex versus co-education, and mainstreaming or grouping by achievement - has formed another thread in Helen's research profile. She has also undertaken research on girls and IT education, and women in education more broadly.

In recent times, the expectation within the Australian curriculum that teachers will develop students' numeracy capabilities across all disciplines across the curriculum has initiated a new research direction. Helen has examined the numeracy capabilities of teacher education students and practicing teachers, and studied how teachers develop numeracy tasks in disciplines other than mathematics to meet this expectation.

Innovative data gathering approaches and participant recruitment have been a feature of Helen's research. She is very experienced in survey design and administration, and the quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey and interview data.

Helen has won many large research grants to support her research endeavours. She has published widely the findings from her research in books, scholarly journals, and professional outlets. She has also served on the editorial boards of journals and book series, and has been a member of the executive committees of scholarly research organisations.

Research interests

Her central research focus is the difference in achievement between boys and girls, particularly in mathematics education.

Research area keywords

  • Mathematics Education
  • Gender

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