As a mathematics leader, do you resonate with these?

  • All your mathematics teachers have embraced strategies that enable students to become responsible learners who are visibly enthusiastic about their mathematical understanding.

  • Your mathematics teachers developed collegiality through discussing, over 12 months, how to best present mathematics for understanding and proficiency, sharing their collective wisdom in response to the principles of a comprehensive, hybrid PD Program.

  • Your students were confident during their university applications - partly through being immersed in many rich, whole-class mathematical discussions as part of your school's mathematics program.

As a mathematics teacher, what if … ?

  • You discovered engaging strategies that have improved your students' performance, strategies that you find empowering to use.

  • You enhanced your career options by engaging in a long-form PD that gave you experience fostering conceptual understanding and communication skills in students.

  • You have made changes resulting in students taking full responsibility for their learning. This has freed you to deliver your very best teaching more often in more lessons.

What if students said this about your teaching ...

Feedback to teacher aligned with this PD

I found my passion for maths return as I actually begin to understand the content in class. I enjoy all of the maths lessons because it is has the perfect balance of group work, independent learning, and teacher guidance. There were never times when I felt bored, as I was continuously challenged and pushed to my potential. Nicole, Year 10

More Student Feedback

Feedback from students of teachers aligned with this PD

“I feel really happy in math class. It feels like this small but very tight-knit community; no one hesitates to help each other, and learning together - discussing and debating over questions, reviewing and going over complicated concepts - makes the lesson really fun and enjoyable:)”

Felicity, Year 10

“Math is indeed a subject that makes me a thinker and a risk-taker. The process of thinking in math is indeed an enjoyment for me and solving a single question for more than an hour and finally solving it is often the highlight of my day.”

Grace, Year 12

“Especially this year, I think there has been quite major shift in the way that we learn Maths, becoming more self-directed and less “formulaic” in comparison to previous years. For example, the answers for the mini-investigations that we do for each topic are often not straight forward, which would be challenging but also rewarding. I feel that another challenging part about this year was the projects, which required a lot of self-directed work. ”

Continued next page ...

“(continued ...) I remember distinctly the conversation we had about the volumes that I was getting for my mountain estimation and how I was worrying about them not matching to the value I found online. What you said about it all being about “the journey, not the destination” made me realise that I was thinking about this from the wrong perspective all along. I started to recognise the importance of the process over the final result, and that was a really valuable realisation for me.”

Cheryl, Year 12

“Presentations and assigned questions for prep/homework encouraged me to communicate my mathematical process with others, and often doing so helped me realize some flaws I had in my strategy that I could simplify.”

Jeremy, Year 12

Course curriculum

    1. 200 True Change Is All About Awareness!

    2. 205 Students Need To Own Their Learning

    3. 210 What is Student Agency?

    4. 220 Thought Provoker One: Implementing Strategies

    5. 230 Three Typical Classroom Scenarios in International schools

    6. 240 Thought Provoker Two: About Poor Student Behaviour

    7. 250 The Teacher Factor - International Schools

    8. 270 Let's Talk About Control!

    9. 275 Your 'Control' Comment*

    10. 280 Your 'Fostering Student Agency' Takeaway*

    1. 300 Student Engagement or Student Agency?

    2. 305 Thought Provoker Three: Student Agency

    3. 310 The High-Agency Maths Classroom

    4. 320 Your Comment: What Constitutes A High-Agency Classroom?*

    5. 330 What Is Your Default Approach ... And Are You Defending It?

    1. 400 The Art of Learning

    2. 410 Anyone for Skateboarding?

    3. 430 Thought Provoker Four: Independent, Student-centred, Self-directed learning

    4. 440 Student Centricity Breeds Student Agency!

    5. 440b Your Student-cenrtric Comment

    6. 450 What To Do When Students Resist?

    7. 460 Deal With Students' Objections Before They Arise* (Article)

    8. 470 - Sometimes, we need to be the sage to the stage

    9. 475 Your 'Sage On The Stage' Comment*

    10. 480 Your Implementation Plans

    11. 485 Your Additional Comment?*

    12. 490 Some Past Implementations Reports

    13. 495 A couple of reminders

    1. 500 TEAM Announcement

    2. 505 The Perils of Rote Learning

    3. 510 Procedures-first Teaching or Understanding-first Teaching?

    4. 515 Why We Need An Understanding-first, Procedures-second Mindset When Teaching Mathematics*

    5. 520 You Need To Know The Difference Between Trick Teaching and Teaching Shortcuts

    6. 525 Your Trick-Teaching Comment*

    7. 530 The Perils of Compartmentalisation

    8. 535 Compartmentalisation with integrals

    9. 540 Are We Forcing Students To Play The Memory Game?

    10. 545 Your Memory Game - Rote Learning - U-1, P-2 Comment*

    11. 550 Let The Strategies Unfold ...

    1. 600 Unpacking the Understanding-first, Procedures-second Framework

    2. 605 Some Abbreviations

    3. 610 U-1, P-2 in action (Right Angled Trigonometry Example)

    4. 620 What makes the previous example a U-1, P-2 approach?

    5. 621 Your Understanding-first Right-angled Trig Comment*

    6. 625 Trigonometry Extended (by Anja)*

    7. 626 Your Trig-extended Takeaway*

    8. 630 Four Common Misconceptions

    9. 640 But What About Explicit Instruction?

    10. 645 Explicit Instruction, AHA Moments and Student-Centred Learning.

    11. 646 Your Explicit Instruction comment*

    12. 650 A couple of reminders

About this course

  • 141 lessons

A video for every mathematics leader (2 min)

Some pedagogy aspects to consider

Teachers want agency!

What do we want as mathematics teachers? We want to have an impact on our students. We want to do our best teaching more often in more lessons across more classes. In other words, we need to have agency.

Here’s the thing about teacher agency … When all our students have agency, they open the door for us to do our best teaching. The more agency our students have, the more agency we have. 

This PD is about learning to present mathematics in ways that foster agency in students … so that we gain agency … so that we can do our best teaching more often in more lessons across more classes.

Let's stop demanding students learn formulas by rote

Too often, we present mathematics in ways that have students working with formulas without understanding the related concepts. The only way to learn mathematical formulas when the related concepts are not understood is by rote. However, recalling mathematical formulas by rote is an impossible task.

(BTW, Mathematics educators do not recall mathematical formulas by rote because we use our understanding of related concepts to help us remember formulas!)  

This PD is about learning to present mathematics to students in ways that have students understand the concepts upon which the formulas are based.

Implementing strategies with your students

One of the program's key features is implementing strategies from the PD with your students. However, we don’t want anyone implementing strategies that do not make sense. Our role is to shift your awareness so that the strategies make sense. Once that happens, you will want to implement them.  


  • Should we enrol more than one teacher in this online course?

    If you are looking for department-wide improvement regarding student agency then the ideal way to achieve this is to enrol all or most of your teachers into this course as a Team. However, this course is also ideal for individual teachers wanting to see significant changes occur in their classroom teaching.

  • When does the course start? Am I able to commence whenever I want?

    Yes, you are able to start now or at a later time. Simply let us know on the form.

  • What happens if I don't complete the course within the allocated time?

    As long as you make regular progress - or keep us posted when something unforeseen is preventing you from making progress - you will be given every opportunity to complete the course.

  • Will I have to be logged in at specific times?

    No. The course is self-paced and accessible 24/7. There is no requirement to be logged in at any specific time.


(This is a new Program. Below is some feedback from a previous version of this Professional Development)

“This PD was so inspiring with its many great facets, ideas, articles, videos and links. It should be compulsory in all teacher training and then should be compulsory again after teaching for your first 2-3 years. Thanks, Richard. ”

Paul Chesher, Westfields Sports High School, Dec 2021.

“This PD made me reflect and carefully analyse my way of teaching, and made me strive to improve myself further. It made me become more willing to 'take risks', thus utilising a variety of different approaches/strategies within my teaching of Maths, even at differing year levels. It was also great to be able to share ideas with the Team members and learn other highly effective ways to keep students motivated (especially at a particular age - Years 7/8 - when many students start to become disengaged or disinterested). ”

Matthew Lafranchi, Bacchus Marsh Grammar, Oct 2021 (Team of 20 teachers)

“I really like the self-paced nature of this PD, the repeated reminders of what's good for the students and wonderful interactions with Richard. I'm inspired to continue the good work of putting students in the centre so we can endeavour to help each individual grow collectively through the power of open-ended tasks/questioning and metacognition. Yes, the course has had positive changes in me. I think I'll revisit these concepts whenever I feel like I'm getting stuck on a tediously boring mode of teaching. Thank you! ”

Liz Tan, Masada College, May 2021

“The PD gives materials to develop a conceptual approach to teaching with a student-centred style without "sugar-coating" this. It focuses on classroom practice by providing a large volume of ready-to-use teaching resources. The videos provided show teachers applying a conceptual approach in the classroom along with their initial doubts and subsequent reflections. I liked the high volume of resources and variety of videos assembled. It helped me to understand the conceptual shift required. Additionally, high-quality arguments are made to convince others regarding using a conceptual, student-centred approach against a purely procedural, whole-class teacher-directed approach (that many think is identically equal to explicit teaching). ”

James Kiely, Coomealla High School, Oct 2020

“This PD really kept me inspired throughout the struggles of teaching this year, as soon as I read about a new strategy I wanted to implement it straight away. The student engagement in the classes I have implemented things into has skyrocketed, I'm having students from other classes asking me about the lessons I did with my class and why their teacher doesn't do the same thing with them. I wish my maths teachers in high school did this course. ”

Tammy Brennan, Toormina HIgh School, Sept 2020

“Every maths teacher needs to take this PD. It doesn’t matter if you are new to teaching or have been teaching for 30 years – this PD will make you think about teaching for understanding and hence generate an open, engaged learning environment. It is a hands-on PD that creates opportunities to make genuine changes in your classroom as you go. Richard has a great understanding of the needs of a classroom teacher and the challenges that we all face. He provides us with strategies that are easy to implement. Every aspect of the PD is well-thought out, interesting and extremely practical. It requires you to stop regularly and reflect on different aspects of your own teaching style. Feedback from others taking the course also regularly happens which is really encouraging. ”

Debra Penny, Head of Mathematics, Bacchus Marsh Grammar, Victoria, Oct 2018 (Leader of Team of 20 teachers)


Richard Andrew

Hi! I’m Richard. I’ve been delivering PD to teachers since 2007 - after twenty-plus years in the classroom, six as a Department Head. My main PD thrust is to support teachers to improve their ability to foster agency and understanding in students. This is because we only shine as mathematics teachers when our students demonstrate agency ... when students assume ownership through experiencing a sense of control over their learning. I've always been fascinated by the craft of teaching maths. I have a knack for presenting complex pedagogical ideas in easy-to-follow ways, and in the absence of edu-babble. 

Anja Mori

Hi, I’m Anja, from Slovenia. I’ve been teaching in international programs - AP, A-level and IB - in multiple schools in China. I have a strong curriculum knowledge within these programs. As an educator, I focus on imparting an understanding of the underlying mathematical concepts to students, and I utilise multiple approaches to achieve this. Given that my experience is drawn from American and British systems with predominantly Chinese pupils, I am continuously working towards connecting what works best for the East and the West. Having students explore mathematical ideas collaboratively and share those ideas builds conceptual understanding, agency and authentic engagement. The more agency students acquire, the better mathematicians they become.