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Teaching mathematics up to calculus is very easy, once you know how. It is mostly about having a deep and connected knowledge of mathematics and very specific teaching strategies to address student misconceptions. Children who have the tools to understand tend to engage

Dr Stephen Norton is a Senior Lecturer in the field of mathematics education at Griffith University.  Stephen’s teaching areas are in the fields of primary, middle school and senior secondary mathematics education.  For the past few decades Stephen has been working with schools to refine the focus of work programs and to build mathematics teaching capacity among staff.  Insight into what helps students understand and engage in mathematics has come from sustained observation and teaching of children, locally and internationally including in China and Vietnam.   The same factors apply for children who are in privileged schools as well as those in socially/economically disadvantaged schools.  If student have the appropriate support and structures they overwhelming engage and when they engage they learn.  

Dr Stephen Norton

School of Education and Professional Studies

Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education

Fields of Expertise

  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Curriculum Design
  • Primary and Secondary Mathematics
  • Teacher Training
  • Whole-school Mathematics Training

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Stephen is regularly involved in presenting to groups focused on his research and industry experience. A couple of highlights include:

  • Key note and seminars at Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers; (QAMT) Townsville: Enacting the proficiency standards for teaching mathematics. 2015
  • Keynote: Taishun Experimental  School Conference: Teaching mathematics in the West: Assumptions and challenges. 2015.
  • Keynote: Wenzhou Normal University: Teaching problem-solving in the West.  2015.
  • Keynote address and seminars Challenges and solutions: QAMT; Townsville 2012

Industry Experience

Stephen has developed and delivered a range of professional development courses around Australia focused around the teaching and implementation of mathematics within schools.  Stephen has been involved in comprehensive reviews of whole-school mathematics teaching to identify strategies focused on improving existing the school mathematics framework.  Stephen also provides targeted professional development in the fields of early years numeration right through to the introduction of calculus for senior maths students.  He believes  that Knowledgeable teachers are confident teachers and confident teachers earn the respect of their students.

Stephen recently wrote the literature review on senior mathematics to help theoretically guide the QCAA in restructuring the senior mathematics curriculum.  He is regularly invited to address rural QAMT conferences as a key note speaker and to act as a mentor for both state and independent schools P to 12.  He has taught in struggling primary classes and to the most gifted mathematics students.  These coal face interactions inform his interpretation of educational theory and guide the teaching resources and methods he has devised.  

Research Expertise

Stephen’s research highlights include: Factors influencing student engagement in mathematics study and building pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers’ capacity at all levels.   

  • Mathematics engagement in an Australian lower secondary school

Year: 2016:  Journal: Journal of Curriculum Studies

  • Year 8 and 9 Vietnamese Students Mathematics Commitment: Academic Learning Time and Motivations.  

Year: 2016 Journal: Curriculum Perspectives  

  • The impact of students’ procedural and conceptual understanding in relation to solving quadratic equations.

Year (2016): MERGA Conference proceedings (with Bronwyn Reid-O’Connor).

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