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Dr Clare Lee

Profile summary

Professional biography

Clare Lee

I am a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Well-being Education and Languages Studies.

I am Chair of modules in the Masters in Education at the Open University on Learning and Teaching focused on looking to the future of education and also teach on the PGCE in Wales. I am passionately committed to improving teaching and therefore learning, taking on board global drivers for change and establishing the education young people need to flourish in the future. I also create short open learn courses on education, research and teaching and assessing mathematics.

My research focuses on how teachers act in the classroom with a particular focus on the teachers of mathematics. I work collaboratively with pre-service and in-service teachers to research how this can be done, publishing books and journal articles on a regular basis. My research expertise concerns the development of Mathematical Resilience in all learners from young people in school to adult learners. This expertise contributes to the work of National Advisory panels on mathematical education.

My research is grounded in extensive professional experience as a mathematics teacher and as a local authority assessment consultant. My research work started with the exciting role of Research Fellow on the Nuffield funded KMOFAP (Kings Medway Oxfordshire Formative Assessment Project) project resulting in the innovative, highly influential and  widely used Assessment for Learning Materials. I am co-author of both Working Inside the Black Box and Assessment for Learning - Putting it into Practice.

I currently supervise PhD students and EdD students in mathematics education across all age groups, I enjoy working with them to develop their ideas and to develop new knowledge about the nature of learning mathematics, how to improve it and how assessment really can improve learning in schools. Anyone interested in submitting a proposal in this area is welcome to contact me,

Research interests

My research expertise concerns the improvement of teaching both in mathematics and across the curriculum. My work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how to teach for Mathematical Resilience. This programme of research builds on my previous work on both Assessment for Learning across all curriculum subjects and The Role of Language in the Learning of Mathematics.

One of the key outcomes of my work is the construct of “Mathematical Resilience”. If mathematics is difficult to master, and many people say that it is, then learners will need to develop a positive adaptive stance to mathematics such that it will allow them to continue learning despite barriers and difficulties. This positive adaptive stance to mathematics I have termed “Mathematical Resilience”. A mathematical learning environment can be a positive place for the pupils where barriers to learning mathematics can be overcome. Pupils who have a high level of mathematical resilience know that it is worth persevering when faced with difficulties and know many ways of doing this, work collaboratively with their peers, have the language skills needed to express their understandings and have a growth theory of mathematical learning .

My research speaks to the STEM agenda, which is concerned with the lack of take up of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics both at ‘A’ level and higher levels, including apprenticeships. Mathematical resilience can enable students to know that they can overcome barriers and thus make them more likely to continue to study and to succeed in that study.

My expertise in open and distance education has also had impact internationally, shaping the development of ambitious, innovative, large scale teacher education initiatives. In creating the TESS-India and IGATE (Zimbabwe) materials, I worked in partnership with Indian and Zimbabwean colleagues to devise and produce web based distance learning materials explicitly designed to support teachers in changing the way that they facilitate learning in their classrooms. I built capacity within the education systems by supporting teacher educators in using the materials in their role of changing established classroom practices, The teacher educators and other education officials use the materials to mediate the creation a community of practice that will be sustainable.

Teaching interests

I have responsibility for the creation of two innovative distance –learning masters modules which I currently chair. EE830 Learning and teaching: educating the next generation, will be the first of a new pathway and is forging a new practices in agile production and active presentation.

I have worked extensively in building Open Learn courses, such as Looking Globally - the future of education, Becoming an ethical researcher and various free courses on teaching and assessing mathematics.

Impact and engagement

My construct of Mathematics Resilience is making an impact both nationally and internationally. In January 2015 I convened the Shard Symposium in London, which was followed by the First and Second Internal Conference on Mathematical Resilience in March 2016 and March 2017. At these conferences papers were presented showing how and why mathematical resilience is important across all strata of society. Three main strands emerged, developing Mathematical Resilience in schools and with parents and coaching for mathematical resilience in work-based learners.