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Gillian Parker

Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Teacher Training and Education / Gillian Parker

Principal Lecturer in Mathematics Education, Secondary Education ITE Lead, Mathematics ITE Lead

I am passionate about mathematics education and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience mathematics in a positive way to enable them to achieve their full potential.

With over 20 years' experience of teaching both adults and children, many of whom had experienced maths anxiety, I became dedicated to fostering an open mindset and a creative and inspiring approach to mathematics teaching.

I left my role of 'Raising Achievement Leader for Key Stage 3 Mathematics' in a secondary school and joined the University in 2016 as Primary Education Mathematics Lead. Within this role, I taught mathematics on both the PGCE and BA Primary Education routes to teaching. I later became the lead on both Primary and Secondary Mathematics Education, and was Programme Leader for BSc Mathematics Education. This expanded to leading our most recent additions to the secondary undergraduate routes of BSc Physical Education and BSc STEM Education, which includes routes to teaching on maths, physics, chemistry, DT, Computer Science and Engineering. More recently I have taken the post of Secondary ITE Lead, where I am responsible for all Secondary Education staff and courses. As my passion remains in mathematics education, I have also maintained my role as Mathematics ITE Lead.

Teaching and supervision

I am the Secondary Education ITE Lead for BSc STEM suite of courses with Qualified Teacher Status, which include:

I am also lead on our suite of Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses. I also lead on all Primary Mathematics for the following courses:

Research interests for potential research students

  • I am currently undergoing Doctoral studies towards a PhD, where my research critically examines how the ‘Mastery’ mathematics curriculum is being implemented, supported and evaluated in England. In particular, it focuses upon the extent to which the use of Singaporean inspired textbooks may support the implementation of the new mathematics curriculum and the mastery agenda. It also explores how this approach to curriculum implementation, support and evaluation, impacts upon teacher professional development, teacher confidence and other aspects learning and thinking in the affective domain. I am in the final stage of my PhD and currently writing up my research ready for examination.

    Papers and conferences

  • TEAN June 2020 - presentation of 'Pilot Study: How do pre-service teachers of primary mathematics experience the impact of a 'mastery' pedagogy through the use of Singaporean style textbooks and how does this impact on their development, both on teaching practice and during initial teacher training?'
  • Sunderland School of Education Research Conference - April 2021 - 'Lost in Translation: ITE Trainee Perspectives on Maths Mastery Textbooks'
  • Sunderland School of Education Research Conference - September 2021 - 'Ability - A label for distinction or extinction?'


  • PhD study: How are pre-service teachers of primary mathematics impacted by the use of Singapore style textbooks designed using a 'mastery' pedagogy?
  • Mathematics Education

Last updated 22 November 2021