'Mathematics and STEM are essential to the world’s growth and are at the forefront of great inventions. They’re vital to our everyday lives and the nation’s continued prosperity.'

Professor English with Holland Park State School students

The spark

'I have always strongly believed that primary school students have greater mathematical capacity than we give them credit for. When I did my PhD, I was amazed at how four to eight-year-olds could solve challenging problems, and this sparked my goal to explore and develop school students’ talents in maths.'

Research aim

'There are so many opportunities for creative and innovative thinking in mathematics and STEM and opportunities are always evolving. It’s rewarding to reveal and help to generate exciting educational experiences in these areas.'

Professor English presenting an education conference keynote address in Taiwan
Professor English with Professor Jenny Hong from National Sun Yat-sen University

Real-world implications

'Mathematics and STEM are essential to the world’s growth and are at the forefront of great inventions. They’re vital to our everyday lives and the nation’s continued prosperity, yet most people take these disciplines for granted or avoid them where they can. They have played a major role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, with mathematical modelling in particular playing a key role.'

The challenge

'Greater attention needs to be given to mathematics and STEM in our education systems. Australian students’ mathematics achievement has declined or stagnated in recent years (OECD, 2019). This decline is at a time when employers are calling for adaptable and competent problem-solvers capable of dealing with increasing global disruption.'

Professor English as keynote speaker at the 5th International STEM in Education Conference in Brisbane


'Throughout my career, my students have always come first. I love working with students at all levels of education. To ignite undergraduate students’ passion for mathematics education and STEM education is so rewarding, especially when opportunities for rich classroom learning in these fields can be lost. Our HDR students, who contribute significantly to advancing these domains, provide me with endless joy.'

Key collaborators

'Collaboration is important for broadening research perspectives, and in the case of STEM, to bring together expertise from multiple disciplines

  • Montana State University
  • University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • George Mason University
  • Purdue University

Key publications

English, L. D., Adams, R., & King, D. (2020). Learning by design across STEM education. In Johnson, C. J., Schroeder, M. M., Moore, T., & English, L. D. (Eds.). Handbook of Research on STEM Education. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

English, L. D. (2019). Learning while designing in a fourth-grade integrated STEM problem. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 29(5), 987-998. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-018-9482-z

English, L. D. (2016). STEM education K-12: Perspectives on integration. International Journal of STEM Education, 3(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40594-016-0036-1


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