Senior Fellow, Griffith Institute for Educational Research, School of Education and Professional Studies
Profile page for Professor Robyn Jorgensen
Professor Jorgensen has been working in the area of mathematics education since undertaking her Honours and Doctoral work at Deakin University. She has focused her work in the area of equity, particularly focusing on the social practices that contribute to the patterns of success (or not) of social, cultural and linguistic groups. Her strong interest in equity has been in the area of social class, Indigenous and issues around language and culture. She has international recognition for her work in this area as evidenced by numerous invitations for keynote addresses; state, national and international panels, invited publications and submissions. In 2008 she was invited co-convenor of the ICMI Centenary Conference for the social context working group; 2008-2009 was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as Chair of the Queensland Studies Authority Mathematics Advisory Committee. From 2009, she has been serving as the eminent mathematics education professor on the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers national project for enhancing the mathematics learning for Indigenous Australians (Turn the Page). She has worked in an advisory capacity for State projects and innovations in various states including Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. In 2009-2010 she took leave from the University to work as CEO/Principal of an Aboriginal corporation in Central Australia.
Robyn has secured numerous competitive grants including eight Australian Research Grants since 2001. Each grant has had a strong equity dimension to it. Collectively these have spanned the range of learning contexts from early childhood through to workplace learning. She has a critical edge to her work where she seeks to identify and redress issues of inequality in participation, access and success in mathematics learning and teaching. Her work focuses strongly on practice - whether in formal school settings or settings beyond the school. The work seeks to challenge the status quo that has been implicated in the construction of unequal outcomes for particular groups of people. Her most recent ARC grants indicate the culmination of her challenge to contemporary practices in mathematics education. The work in the Kimberley region is an example of reforming teaching so as to enable Indigenous students greater access to mathematics learning. The newest ARC grant seeks to draw on the impact of digital technologies on young people's mathematical thinking. This project may provide explanations for new numeracies that have been observed in other ARC projects where older adolescents were found to have different dispositions to using and undertaking numeracy than their employers and teachers. These two projects will offer considerable challenges to current practices in school mathematics that are known to have profound (and negative) implications for many disadvantaged groups in Australia and internationally. She is currently working on a 4 year longitudinal study to investigate the effects of early years swimming in under-5s on their development.
Her work seeks to impact on the practices of the various sectors within which she works - whether schools, workplaces or policy. This can be seen in the ways in which her research is undertaken with a range of industry partners for whom the research is most relevant. In most cases, the industries are actively involved in the studies and use the outcomes to inform their own practice. She is frequently sought by various stakeholders - schools, community groups, industry, policy, state authorities - to provide input into their activities including reports, professional development work, advice on reform. The work that Robyn has undertaken has been recognised internationally and nationally. She is active in her reviewing for a wide range of mathematics education and general education journals, as well as being an Oz reviewer for the ARC and a reviewer for national research council grants including Israel and South Africa. She is currently chief editor of the Mathematics Education Research Journal and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal for Science and Mathematics Education.