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Personal profile


Helen Forgasz is a 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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Projects 2003 2017

Research Output 1996 2019

Learning about numeracy: The impact of a compulsory unit on pre- service teachers' understandings and beliefs

Forgasz, H. J. & Hall, J., 1 Jan 2019, In : Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 44, 2, p. 15-33 19 p., 2.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Numeracy Across the Curriculum: Research-Based Strategies for Enhancing Teaching and Learning

Goos, M., Geiger, V., Dole, S., Forgasz, H. & Bennison, A., 2019, 1st ed. Crows Nest NSW Australia: Allen & Unwin. 256 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookOtherpeer-review

Scholarly writing

Forgasz, H. J., 2019, Compendium for Early Career Researchers in Mathematics Education. Kaiser, G. & Presmeg, N. (eds.). 1st ed. Cham Switzerland: Springer, p. 359-374 16 p. (ICME-13 Monographs).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

Open Access

VCE STEM subject enrolments in co-educational and single-sex schools

Forgasz, H. & Leder, G., May 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Mathematics Education Research Journal. 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Elementary students’ views on the gendering of mathematics

Forgasz, H. & Markovits, Z., Oct 2018, In : European Journal of Educational Research. 7, 4, p. 867-876 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access


Leonie Warne Prize

Helen Forgasz (Recipient), Julie Lynette Fisher (Recipient), Catherine Lang (Recipient) & Annemieke Craig (Recipient), 6 Dec 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


MERGA Research Award

Helen Forgasz (Recipient), Merrilyn Goos (Recipient), Vince Stephen Geiger (Recipient), Shelley Dole (Recipient) & Anne Bennison (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)