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Personal profile


Karina has taught school mathematics across the full range of year levels, Preparatory to Year 12, spanning 20 years in Australia and England. She has been a Numeracy coordinator in two schools, taught as a primary numeracy specialist, and produced in-depth numeracy and literacy curriculum documentation for schools. She has taught mathematics at VCE levels in Victoria and at A-level in England where she lived for three years. She has consulted for independent schools on mathematics education.

Karina completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne (2008-11) on academic continuity in mathematics for senior secondary students with chronic illness. She tutored pre-service teachers in primary mathematics education at the University and continued to teach secondary mathematics part-time. She lectured in and researched mathematics education full time at Australian Catholic University for two years and was involved in collaborative and individual research projects on primary mathematics education. She has published both sole- and joint-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. During a recent sabbatical, she spent a term teaching algebra to Year 8 and 9 students. She holds a Master of Information Technology from Deakin University and a doctoral-level Graduate Certificate in Advanced Learning and Leadership from the University of Melbourne.

 Karina currently lectures undergraduate and postgraduate pre-service teachers at Monash University. She supervises doctoral students and consults for schools, particularly on teaching mathematics with differentiation and for conceptual learning. Karina’s recent research interests have focussed on algebra and the need for teachers in the middle years to be able to understand and teach it conceptually rather than procedurally, so that students have a strong foundation for later learning. She has surveyed and worked with upper primary and early secondary teachers and students to investigate the development of functional thinking in algebra. She is collaborating with overseas colleagues on an international comparative study of algebra learning in the secondary years. Karina is also researching the use of challenging problems that incorporate multiple strategies for improving student motivation and achievement. She is collaborating on Monash research projects investigating middle school students’ perspectives on their learning and school-based practices for influencing students’ VCE mathematics subject selections.

Research interests

Developing functional thinking in algebra during the middle years of schooling;

Professional learning of teachers in algebra;

Formative assessment in secondary mathematics education;

Affective disposition of undergraduate and postgraduate pre-service teachers in mathematics.


  • Mathematics teaching and learning
  • Mathematics curriculum
  • Algebra

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Research Output 2008 2019

Exploring secondary students’ conceptualization of functions in three curriculum contexts

Ayalon, M. & Wilkie, K. J., Jun 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Mathematical Behavior. 17 p., 100718.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Middle school boys' and girls' own expressions of aspirations for their mathematics learning

Wilkie, K. J., 2019, Affect and Mathematics Education: Fresh Perspectives on Motivation, Engagement, and Identity. Hannula, M. S., Leder, G. C., Morselli, F., Vollstedt, M. & Zhang, Q. (eds.). 1st ed. Cham Switzerland: Springer, p. 165-194 30 p. (ICME-13 Monographs).

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

Open Access

Primary and Middle Years Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., Bay-Williams, J., Brass, A., Bently, B., Ferguson, S., Goff, W., Livy, S., Marshman, M., Martin, D., Pearn, C., Prodromou, T., Symons, D. & Wilkie, K., 2019, 1st ed. Melbourne Vic Australia: Pearson. 708 p.

Research output: Book/ReportTextbookOtherpeer-review