MAV19 Conference - Making+Connections

Conference Committee

Ann Downton

Conference Convenor, Dr Ann Downton is a Lecturer in undergraduate and post-graduate early childhood and primary mathematics education courses in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her research interests centre on how students construct their mathematical knowledge, in particular their development of multiplicative thinking (the focus of her doctoral studies); how teachers challenge students mathematical thinking; mathematics planning for instruction, and assessment practices. Ann was very proud to be a member of the Early Numeracy Research Project team that received the 2011 MERGA Research Award "in recognition of an outstanding contribution to mathematics education research."

Ann has extensive experience as a primary school teacher, a part-time mathematics and science specialist and as a mathematics consultant. She continues to work with schools in a professional learning capacity and in the classroom to support teacher's pedagogical practices and enhance students learning of mathematics and their subsequent self-confidence. Ann has been a member of the Mathematical Association of Victoria for more than 30 years, during which time she has served on Council and as a member of the Annual Conference committee

Johnson Alagappan

Johnson Alagappan is a leading teacher of Mathematics at Gilson College as well an EMU Mathematics intervention specialist. His teaching experience includes time at the British International School in Bangkok, New South Wales and Victoria. Johnson is currently a part-time co-teacher at Monash University training pre-service teachers in teaching Mathematics. He recently completed a degree in Psychology and hopes to use this knowledge in developing a school syllabus that would help students engage, connect and fall in love with Mathematics to a much greater extent. Johnson also started a Mathematics network in the Western regions of Melbourne with the aim of teachers sharing knowledge and developing their expertise in teaching Mathematics.

Kate Copping

Kate Copping began her career as a primary school teacher, and has taught at all levels from Foundation to Year 6, in schools in Victoria, NSW and USA. While teaching in Victoria, she has been a mathematics leader and leading teacher, and an Innovations and Excellence Cluster leader.Kate has provided mathematics professional development for teachers through the Australian Council for Educational Research, the Department of Education and Training and the Bastow Institute. She has also worked within individual schoolsas a maths consultant and provided professional development training sessions.

Kate has working in teacher education for the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne University since 2008, as a Teaching Fellow and Clinical Specialist supporting teacher candidates whilst on placement and as a lecturer in primary mathematics. She completed her Masters in School Leadership in 2012, and is currently a PhD candidate.Her research involves leadership and teacher professional learning in mathematics. Kate joined the MAV Council in 2018.

Dr Leicha Bragg

Dr Leicha Bragg is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University, Melbourne. Her extensive experience in mathematics education incorporates improving mathematics education through innovative and engaging approaches. Dr Bragg has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award for Teaching Excellence, "For outstanding curriculum and resource development that equips our future mathematics teachers with the confidence, passion and skills they need to support student learning."  Her interest in making mathematics come alive saw her undertake research in implementing mathematics games in the primary classroom. Dr Bragg's current research includes: mathematical reasoning, the creation of rich mathematical tasks through the use of children's literature, social justice and mathematics.

Trish Jelbart

Trish Jelbart has been a classroom teacher for many years and has a deep understanding of the challenges currently faced by Maths Teachers. She successfully taught in suburban state secondary schools for 12 years before moving to the TAFE and higher education sector, where she teaches students the maths required across a range of courses at Victoria University. She also works with staff to assist with making the maths in various courses more accessible for students, to help improve students' mindset toward Maths and use various innovative strategies and technologies to assist the students. Trish has recently worked on a STEM research project which has provided further evidence for the need to promote Mathematics in society generally, especially as students face tougher competition for work, at a time when Mathematics and associated technologies are increasingly a part of work requirements and tertiary courses.

Trish realises mathematics teachers require assistance at both the micro level, in the classroom with technique and strategies, and at the macro level, in terms of systemic support for mathematics teachers and teaching. Trish has been on the MAV Council for four years, and a Vice-President on the National ACSSO and School Council President of Collingwood English Language Centre.

Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore has been the Head of Mathematics at one of the largest state schools in Victoria for the past 2.5 years, leading a team of upwards of 35 staff members to deliver the best possible Mathematics curriculum to over 2000 students at any given time. Thomas has a keen passion for teaching Mathematics to students of all ages and strongly believe in getting students to see patterns and develop critical thinking strategies over rote learning tricks when learning Mathematics.

Thomas has a passion for developing rich learning activities which cater for all ability levels and promote mathematical thinking and learning. Some of his best work in the teaching of Mathematics can be seen by visiting demonstrating what Year 7 students were able to achieve when developing their skills in the topic of Algebra. Thomas' believes in fostering communication and critical thinking amongst students and in how technology is able to truly enhance the learning of Mathematics within the secondary school sector.

Sally Anne Polson

Sally-Anne Polson is an Early Childhood Teacher at MLC Kindle.  She has experience in the Independent School sector with the Primary Years Program as well as community based and council run early childhood programs.  Sally also spent 12 months working within the high-scope philosophy in a children's centre in Bristol, United Kingdom.  In 2005 and 2015, Sally attended study tours to Reggio Emilia, Italy and is greatly influenced by their pedagogical practice.  In 2016, she completed a Master of Education (Early Childhood) at Monash University.  Her recent studies sparked an interest for mathematical learning in the early years and a passion to amalgamate this with play and inquiry based learning.

Max Stephens

Max Stephens is currently a research fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. He has enjoyed a long connection with the MAV, both as a Councillor, former President, and as one of its Honorary Life Members. His past research interests include developing a construct of Teacher Capacity to support curriculum reform in mathematics, and investigating the cultural conditions that are needed for the successful adaptation of Lesson Study outside Japan. Most recently, he is investigating how a growing international emphasis to include coding and algorithmic thinking in the school curriculum is likely to impact on school mathematics and the consequences for needed teacher development.

He has continuing interests in mathematics education and curriculum development internationally, especially in Japan and in China, where he has been a visiting professor at several universities. Prior to joining The University of Melbourne, Max occupied several senior roles with the Victorian Department of Education and at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

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