If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


SARAH HOPKINS is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Through research, education and engagement, she is committed to reducing educational inequalities in Australia, including improving achievement outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and increasing opportunities for people with intellectual disability to extend their learning beyond secondary school. This commitment is driven by her experience as a teacher of mathematics in secondary schools that were located in areas of low socio-economic advantage and within juvenile detention centres.

Sarah’s research is advancing the interdisciplinary field of Mathematical Cognition, a field that combines knowledge and methods from cognitive psychology and mathematics education. Focusing on children’s strategy development, she has led six projects (including a Spencer Foundation funded project) to investigate children’s persistent use of counting strategies for basic arithmetic. Project findings have resulted in the invention of the Keyboard, a tool that makes use of children’s ability to enumerate small quantities using visual-spatial perception rather than counting. She is currently leading an ARC Discovery Project to examine how the Keyboard can be used in classrooms to enhance mathematics learning in lower primary school and alter the long-term achievement trajectories for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sarah’s research is also improving life-long learning outcomes for people with intellectual disability. Many students with intellectual disability complete school before becoming independent learners but desire to continue learning literacy and numeracy skills as adults. Between 2015-2019, Sarah coordinated the Keep on Learning (KoL) Program with support from the Ian Potter Foundation, which enabled young adults with intellectual disability to continue their learning at university, and at the same time provided authentic experiences for preparing beginning teachers to work in inclusive schools. Sarah is currently working with the Ecstra Foundation and specialist secondary schools to develop suitable numeracy assessments for KoL students.

Sarah incorporates quantitative and qualitative methods in her research to design and validate measurement scales (utilsing Rasch analysis) and analyse data. She is particularly interested in advancing microgenetic approaches that incorporate multiple-base line designs to investigate learning difficulties.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Research area keywords

  • Mathematics
  • Retrieval
  • Strategy Development
  • Number fluency
  • Learning difficulties
  • Intellectual disability
  • Numeracy
  • Microgenetic approaches
  • Confidence

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or