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Prof. Merrilyn Goos


EPI*STEM, School of Education

Dr Regina Kelly


Merrilyn Goos is Professor of STEM Education and Director of EPI*STEM, the National Centre for STEM Education, at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Before taking up this position she worked for 25 years at The University of Queensland, Australia, in a range of academic roles including Head of the School of Education and Director of the University’s Teaching and Educational Development Institute, working with all Faculties and disciplines to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the University. Previously she taught mathematics, chemistry, and food science in secondary schools and technical colleges in Australia, following her first career as a food technologist working in research and development for a large dairy foods company.

Research Expertise

My research has investigated students’ mathematical thinking, the impact of digital technologies on mathematics learning and teaching, the professional preparation and development of mathematics teachers, numeracy across the curriculum, curriculum and assessment reform, and teaching and learning in higher education.

Research Leadership

I am currently Vice-President of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction, a commission of the International Mathematical Union, and editor-in-Chief of Educational Studies in Mathematics, one of the highest ranking journals in mathematics education. I have previously served as President of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.  I have supervised 15 completed PhD theses and have a further 7 PhD students under supervision.

Research Impact

My research on numeracy across the curriculum challenges narrow “basic skills” interpretations of numeracy that prepare low-achieving students to do no more than “survive” in the world beyond school. The numeracy model I have developed recognises the intellectual, affective and contextual demands of becoming a numerate person, as well as the insights numeracy offers into disciplinary understandings across curriculum areas. The model has been extensively tested and validated with primary and secondary school teachers and adopted as a curriculum and task design framework by two Australian state education systems.

Ongoing Projects

A global approach to the gender gap in the mathematical, computer, and natural sciences: How to measure it? How to reduce it? International Council for Science (€300,000). Lead applicants: International Mathematical Union and International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. I coordinate Task 3 in this project, creating a database of good practices for increasing participation of girls and women.

The learning and development of mathematics teacher educators: Preparation of edited research handbook (to be published by Springer in 2019)

Boundary crossing and knowledge brokering between mathematics educators and mathematicians in initial teacher education

STEMChAT – Women as catalysts for change in STEM education (2019). Science Foundation Ireland (€35,880). This project will recruit female undergraduate STEM Champions and industry mentors to facilitate informal, small-group workshops with school students and parents, predominantly in disadvantaged areas. Resource packages based on these workshops will be developed and disseminated to participating schools and career guidance counsellors.​

Selected Publications

Goos, M., & Bennison, A. (2018). Boundary crossing and brokering between disciplines in pre-service mathematic teacher education. Mathematics Education Research Journal. doi 10.1007/s13394-017-0232-4

Makar, K., Dole, S., Visnovska, J., Goos, M., Bennison, A., & Fry, K. (Eds.) (2016). Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2012-2015. Singapore: Springer.

Matthews, K., Adams, P., & Goos, M. (2015). The influence of undergraduate science curriculum reform on students’ perceptions of their quantitative skills. International Journal of Science Education. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2015.1096427

Goos, M., Geiger, V. & Dole, S. (2014) Transforming professional practice in numeracy teaching. In Y. Li, E. Silver, & S. Li (Eds.), Transforming mathematics instruction: Multiple approaches and practices (pp. 81-102). New York: Springer.

Goos, M. (2013). Mathematical knowledge for teaching: What counts? International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 44, 972-983.