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Research Thesis Topic

Academic Numeracy Framework

Topic ID:

Thesis Topic/Title:
Academic Numeracy Framework


Academic Numeracy has been defined as the “capacity to confidently and competently use mathematics at University level, and to be able to apply, interpret, critique and communicate mathematical concepts in particularly disciplinary contexts” (Brady 2016). Having adequate numeracy is critical not only to succeed in a wide range of tertiary studies, but also to subsequently perform in the workplace. Importantly, the dimensions of “confidence” and “critical awareness” - of the maths needed in the chosen profession as well as the students’ own knowledge - are integral aspects of being numerate (e.g. Galligan 2013). For example, a recent study (Peters et al. 2019) reported that both objective numeracy (the ability to do the maths correctly) and self-efficacy (confidence, leading to persistence) were important for an individual to attain numeracy’s benefits. Conversely, a mismatch in these dimensions (that is, high objective numeracy paired with low self-efficacy or vice versa) led to poor outcomes.

A systematic approach to academic numeracy development in tertiary institutions (e.g. see Galligan 2013b, Brady 2016) would be most beneficial, as it would promote alignment, continuity and sustainability of programs, courses, resources and initiatives. Having an academic numeracy framework to assess the assumed, target and actual numeracy skills of students would be very useful in order to inform course / program development and delivery, assist academic and learning support staff on how to best support the development of students' academic numeracy skills, and assist with the design, development and implementation of intervention initiatives seeking to embed numeracy in courses and programs.

This project focuses on the progressive development and trialling of an Academic Numeracy Framework (Howarth et al. 2021; see Several lines of investigation are available, including theory work to adapt the existing framework to incorporate confidence and awareness elements, as well as quantitative or mixed research methods in order to trial the implementation of the Framework in targeted courses or programs at UniSQ.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • Open Access College

Field of Research
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy
  • Education Systems
  • Other Education
  • Specialist Studies In Education

Available Academic Programs
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

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