Robin Averill

Associate Professor School of Education


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

Equity of access to mathematics achievement at primary and secondary school levels with a particular emphasis on education for students with Māori and Pacific Nations heritages. Research includes: collaborative and individual research projects in the areas of culturally responsive mathematics pedagogies, teacher-student relationships, and addressing the Treaty of Waitangi in school and pre-service education.

Dr Robin Averill profile picture


PhD Well, MSc, BSc, DipTchg


Robin Averill is the Associate Dean (Teacher Education) in the Faculty of Education providing oversight and leadership in secondary, primary and early childhood initial teacher education.

Robin has previously held the roles of Mathematics Curriculum Leader and Postgraduate Programme Director, and earlier worked in secondary school teaching, professional development facilitation, and in national assessment and moderation.

With an extensive background in mathematics teacher education, Robin teaches in primary and secondary initial teacher education and Masters programmes and supervises Masters and doctoral thesis students.

Robin’s research focusses on enhancing equity of access to learning and achievement, in particular through the areas of culturally responsive, mathematics, and teacher education.

Robin is a member of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, coeditor of Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, and is the New Zealand representative on the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.

Current research projects

  • School-tertiary transition (with Sue Cherrington and team)
  • Culturally responsive education
  • In-the-moment coaching in initial teacher education (with Michael Drake and Dayle Anderson)
  • Promoting environmental education through mathematics teaching and learning
  • School-tertiary transition (with Sue Cherrington and team)

Recently completed research projects

  • Learning the work of Ambitious Mathematics Teaching, TLRI funded project (2012-15)
  • He Kakano professional development evaluation research, Ministry of Education funded project (2011-13)

Supervision interests

  • Mathematics teaching and learning
  • Culturally responsive and culturally sustaining education
  • Initial teacher education
  • Education policy implementation
  • Assessment and moderation

Recently completed supervision

Doctoral thesis completions

Farzad Radmehr, PhD (2016), Exploring student learning of integral calculus using revised Bloom’s taxonomy. Primary supervisor.

Bui Thi Kim Tuyen, PhD (2014), An investigation into the use of culturally responsive teaching strategies: Teaching English to Muong ethnic minority students at a tertiary institution in Vietnam. Secondary supervisor.

Amton Mwaraksurmes, PhD (2012), Stance marking tools in Vanuatu mathematics education: Towards a Gelagel framework. Primary supervisor.

Master's thesis completions

Ray Teahen, MEd with Distinction (2015), Exploring visualisation as a strategy for improving Year 4 & 5 student achievement on mathematics word problems. Sole supervisor.

Jennifer Fraser, MEd with Distinction (2014), The role of the dean in the pastoral care structure of a secondary school. Sole supervisor.

Rebecca Blackwood, MEd with Merit (2013), Organisation and self-concept in Year 6 and Year 7 mathematics. Sole supervisor.

Mohamed Shameem Adam, MEd with Distinction (2012), Primary teachers’ mathematical beliefs and practices in the Maldives. Primary supervisor.

David Pomeroy, MEd with Distinction (2011), Thematic teaching and student engagement in a non-academic year 12 mathematics course. Sole supervisor.

Adrian Alamu, MEd with Merit (2010), Teacher beliefs, knowledge, and reported practices regarding numeracy outcomes in the Solomon Islands. Primary supervisor.

Current supervision

Doctoral theses

Karyn Saunders, Maximising student achievement in secondary school mathematics. Primary supervisor.

Anna Williams, Academic leaders' perceptions of the functions of moderation - a mixed methods study. Secondary supervisor.

Lien Tran, Enhancing teacher-student communication as a motivator in non-English major classrooms in Vietnam. Primary supervisor.

Recent publications


Averill, R., Drake, M., Anderson, D., & Anthony, G. (2016). The use of questions within in the-moment coaching in initial mathematics teacher education: Enhancing participation, reflection, and co-construction in rehearsals of practice.Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 44(5), 486-503.

Averill, R., Metson, A., & Bailey, S. (2016). Enhancing parental involvement in student learning. Curriculum Matters 12, 109-131.

Hynds, A., Averill, R., Hindle, R., & Meyer, L. (2016). School expectation and student aspirations: The influence of schools and teachers on indigenous secondary students. Ethnicities. DOI: 10.1177/1468796816666590

Hindle, R., Hynds, A., Averill, R., Meyer, L., & Faircloth, S. (2016).An ontological perspective on the development of home-school partnership relationships with Indigenous communities, The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education.


Averill, R. (in press). Using rich investigative mathematics activities towards embedding culturally responsive mathematics teaching: Helpful, but sufficient? In R. Hunter, M. Civil, B. Herbel-Eisenmann, N. Planas, & D. Wagner, (Eds.), Mathematical discourse that breaks barriers and creates space for marginalized learners. Rotterdam: Sense.

Vale, C., Atweh, B., Averill, R., & Skourdoumbis, A. (2016). Equity, social justice and ethics in mathematics education. In K. Makar et al., (Eds.), Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2012-2015 (pp. 97-118).Rotterdam: Sense.

Averill, R., & Harvey, R. (2015).Go fast! Kia tere! Exploring rates. In J. W. Lott & C. J. Lott (Eds.), Mathematics lessons learned from across the world: Grades 7-12 (pp. 13-18). Reston, VA: NCTM.

Funded research

Anthony, G., Hunter, R., Hunter, J., Rawlins, R., Averill, R., Drake, M., & Anderson, D. with Burgess, T., & Harvey, R. (2015). Learning the work of ambitious mathematics teaching. Teaching and Learning Research Initiative: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Edited books

Cover of 'Mathematics and statistics in the middle years: Evidence and practice', edited by Robin Averill.

Averill, R. (Ed.) (2015). Mathematics and statistics in the middle years: Evidence and practice. Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
The chapters in this book showcase exciting mathematics teaching practice and research from primary and secondary schools in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Cover of 'Teaching Primary School Mathematics and Statistics: Evidence-based practice', edited by Robin Averill and Roger Harvey.

Averill, R., & Harvey, R. (2010). Teaching primary school mathematics and statistics: Evidence based practice. Wellington: NZCER Press.
‘Highly Commended’ in the Best Book in Higher Education category of the Copyright Licensing Limited Education Publishing Awards 2011. This book combines exemplary pedagogical approaches presented in an accessible and inspiring way with excellent instructional design, illustrative flair, and ease of use. Informed by research, this “ground-breaking text” is useful for student and practising teachers.

List of Publications