Special Interest Group in Mathematics Education

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See our most recent newsletter for information about elections and the upcoming AustMS meeting.


The Special Interest Group in Mathematics Education (SIGME) was established in March 2015 in recognition of growing interest among mathematicians in tertiary mathematics education. Over the preceding two years or so, projects such as FYiMaths and mathsassess (both funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching) and conferences including Delta (tertiary mathematics education) and Australian Conference for Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) have provided a focus for this interest. While the AustMS has had some involvement in supporting these activities, there has been limited involvement by the Society’s membership.

The establishment of a Special Interest Group in Mathematics Education was necessary to ensure that AustMS members could contribute to, and be informed of, the current national discussions in tertiary mathematics education on issues including:

  • Retention and progression of tertiary mathematics students
  • Online learning and eLearning
  • Declining lecture attendance and lecture recording
  • Assessment in mathematics
  • The challenges of teaching underprepared students and addressing high failure rates
  • Transition from tertiary to secondary mathematics
  • The declining number of students studying intermediate and advanced level mathematics in upper secondary school
  • Increased teaching performance expectations
  • Connections with the secondary education sector and the Australian Curriculum

The Group was established by a ballot of AustMS members.
The rules of procedure for the group are available here.


The aims of the Group are to:

  1. contribute to, and participate in, the national discussion about tertiary mathematics education issues including Threshold Learning Outcomes, Achievement Standards, Assessment practices, Transition issues and the impacts of technology and students’ participation and engagement in mathematics;
  2. strengthen relations between the tertiary and secondary mathematics education communities;
  3. promote innovation in tertiary mathematics teaching and learning by providing a forum for showcasing good practice and current research, identifying challenges that require investigation and providing a forum for discussion;
  4. foster inquiry and discussion of tertiary mathematics education; and
  5. provide opportunities for mathematicians and mathematics educators to network, share experiences and discuss current practices in mathematics education.


The activities of the group will focus on disseminating information on mathematics education and building a sense of community for mathematicians interested in improving the teaching of mathematics and engaging in scholarship of teaching mathematics. This will include organising activities such as conferences, meetings, seminars, short courses and lectures for members and visitors to the Group.

Members of the group will organise the Mathematics Education Special Sessions at the annual AustMS meeting.

The Group will gather and provide information on current issues in mathematics education to the Society membership, through the website, articles, presentations and email bulletins. From time to time the Group will sponsor joint activities with other bodies concerned with issues in Mathematics Education, such as the FYiMaths Network, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), individual Schools of Mathematics, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) and will encourage the interaction of mathematicians and mathematics educators. The Committee will liaise with the Society’s Standing Committee on Mathematics Education on issues which are of interest to the group and relevant to Society policy.


Meetings will be held at regular intervals throughout the year to coincide with AustMS meetings and conferences.


Membership is open to all mathematicians and mathematics educators in two categories.

  1. Ordinary Members, who are not members of the Society but who elect to pay an annual membership fee to the Group, the amount thereof to be equal to the Society’s annual reciprocal membership subscription;
  2. Dual Members, those members of the Society who request membership of the Group and who pay an annual capitation fee to the Group, which is yet to be determined.

To join the group please check the appropriate box on the AustMS membership form.


  • An interim executive has been appointed, until the first full election.
  • Dr Deb King (U Melbourne) is the Interim Chair
  • Joann Cattlin (U Melbourne) was the first interim Secretary, replaced by Heather Lonsdale (Curtin Univ.)
  • Carolyn Kennett (Macquarie University) is the Interim Treasurer

An election will soon be held for the committee positions, through a ballot of all members of the Group. The committee positions will include the three executive positions, plus two ordinary elected members. Committee positions are for a term of two years.

The committee will manage the business of the group, hold meetings and plan activities.


For further information on the Group please contact:
Heather Lonsdale, Secretary
email: heather.lonsdale@curtin.edu.au
tel. (08) 9266 7664.

Updated: 12 Sep 2017