An afternoon of discussion and workshops
for Mathematics Teachers

The Education Afternoon is a long-standing tradition at the Australian Mathematics Society’s annual meeting. It brings together high school maths teachers and academics for an afternoon of practical and thought-provoking discussions in mathematics education.

Image credit: Dmharvey, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Registration and Location

Attendance will be possible both in-person on the UNSW Kensington Campus, and remotely on Zoom, so we hope to welcome both Sydney based and regional teachers to the event! To register, use the registration button on the main conference website and select the Education Afternoon registration category.

The Education Afternoon will be held in Matthews Building Room 101. A Zoom link to join remotely will also be sent by email to all registered participants.

For questions and enquiries, please contact Karen Man:


Time Presenter Title
1:00 pm Student panel Now that I have spent a year studying at uni, I can answer your questions about how the transition from high school went.
1:45 pm Karen Man The other side of that coin. Now that I have spent a year teaching FY uni, I can answer your questions about what awaits our students.
2:15 pm Various Short presentations of investigation tasks/assignments
3:00 pm Coffee break
3:30 pm Merryn Horrocks (WSU)
Developing mental models of mathematics
4:15 pm Laura Tuohilampi (UNSW)
This is a fun task, why do my students switch off?
5:00 pm End
6:00 pm Martin Bridson AustMS Public lecture
Knots, curved universes, and hard problems

Presenter Biographies

Merryn Horrocks (WSU)

Merryn has an engineering degree and a PhD from UNSW, and a teaching degree from Charles Sturt University. Amongst other things she has worked in engineering and scientific research in private industry, and taught maths at Macquarie and Western Sydney Universities. She currently works in the Mathematics Education Support Hub at Western Sydney University.

Karen Man

Karen is the 2022 School of Mathematics & Statistics Teaching Fellow. She is an experienced maths educator, having taught mathematics in Sydney high schools for many years. This year, she has been translating her skills from the high school classroom to teaching a variety first year mathematics courses at UNSW in both a tutor and lecturer capacity.

Laura Tuohilampi (UNSW)

Dr Laura Tuohilampi (UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture) is a mathematics education researcher, an in-service teacher trainer and the founder of Math Hunger and Maths for Humans. Passionate about shifting mindsets to view maths as positive, engaging and achievable, her work explores practices that innovate and inspire traditional teaching methods to evolve with students’ learning habits.


Title Developing mental models of mathematics
Presenter Merryn Horrocks (WSU)

The way in which mathematical information is stored in a person’s brain has a large effect on the person’s ability to do mathematics.

In this session we will look at the research findings for the different types of mental models built by students in mathematics, together with the mental models built by experts, and consider practical ways to help students build more effective mental models in mathematics.

Title This is a fun task, why do my students switch off?
Presenter Laura Tuohilampi (UNSW)

In this workshop, you will experience the excitement of discovering something new. We will discuss how people often know more maths than they are aware of. Typical teaching practices, however, do not always support employing natural mathematics knowledge. Addressing the gaps does not have to be awkward: in this workshop, you’ll get wonderful examples of how connecting the dots can feel joyful! You will learn the principles to catch and hold interest in the context of mathematics teaching. Maths tasks often lack appeal, or features to sustain engagement, making things hard for teachers. After this workshop, you don’t need to motivate harder, since you know how to motivate smarter!


Laure Helme-Guizon
Karen Man
Jonathan Kress

For further information please contact Karen Man,