How teachers can use students’ questions to promote student engagement in mathematics

Sara Haghighi Siahgorabi

Sara Haghighi SiahgorabiThe purpose of this case study was to investigate how one upper-secondary teacher used students’ questions to develop student agency and how this promoted student engagement in mathematics in one Iranian mathematics classroom. The analysis I report in this study was part of a broader investigation of the impact of different teaching approaches on student learning in an Iranian context. Data were analysed using a constant comparative approach and included field notes from classroom observations and three 50-minute semi-structured teacher interviews during the first five weeks of the school year. Findings showed that the teacher’s choice of taking students’ questions as warm-up for them provided the students with opportunities to take responsibilities for their leaning and improved their engagement in mathematics. Findings suggest that proactive support of classroom discussions that are relevant to students is worth pursuing.

Sara Haghighi Siahgorabi is in the last three months of her PhD at the school of Education, University of Queensland. The focus of her PhD study is on mathematical classroom discourse, teacher-student interactions, teachers’ perspectives of teaching and learning, and students’ perception of mathematics.


Trilingual family language policy in Australia: a study of language attitudes, strategies and practices

Agnieszka Faron

Agnes FaronAlthough most children in the world grow up in bi- and multi-lingual environments, it still proves a challenge to pass on a language from one generation to the next, as evidenced by the constant decline in the number of languages spoken globally. Extensive research shows that there is a broad range of macro-, meso- and micro- level factors which impact on language maintenance and shift processes within a community of speakers. In the immigrant context, the micro-level (family) has been confirmed as being of critical importance to successful language transmission. The question that arises is how macro- and meso- level factors influence the family domain. This study explores issues related to family multilingualism, and provides critical insights into broader societal attitudes about multilingualism and parenting in Australia.

Agnes Faron is a PhD Candidate at the School of Languages and Cultures, where she is investigating language attitudes and practices in immigrant families living in Australia. She also has a BA degree in Applied Linguistics and a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies.


Enabling conditions for Cambodian academics to exercise agency in research engagement

Kimkong Heng

Kiimkong HengThe literature on factors that influence academics’ research engagement and productivity is vast and is still growing. However, studies about how academics working in developing countries engage in research and what influences their research engagement are still limited and warrant more research attention. Aiming to contribute to the body of work in this area, this paper examines how academics in Cambodia, a developing country, engage in research and academic publishing. Adopting a sociocultural understanding of agency as a conceptual framework, this paper explores in detail conditions that enable Cambodian academics to exercise their agency in research engagement. Through a qualitative case study method involving in-depth interviews with academics, the study identifies four key enabling conditions for the exercise of research agency among Cambodian academics. They include: (1) holding a PhD degree or aspiring to pursue a PhD, (2) strong commitment and interest in research, (3) desire to contribute to knowledge and society and (4) ability to take initiatives despite structural constraints. The study has implications for the promotion of research engagement among Cambodian academics and those working in a similar socio-economic context generally characterised by limited resources.

Kimkong Heng is a PhD candidate in education at the University of Queensland. Prior to this, he was a lecturer and an assistant dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the University of Cambodia. He is also a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace and a founding co-editor of Cambodian Education Forum.



About IASH HDR Seminar Series 2020

This seminar series, presented by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, was established to give Higher Degree by Research students the opportunity to present their research to an interdisciplinary audience of humanities scholars. The seminars take the form of conference-style panels of three presentations, and will be presented via zoom.