Jill Fielding-Wells is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education with international recognition as a researcher in mathematics education.
Jill commenced her career in adult training and development before discovering a passion for teaching children and completing her initial teacher education qualification as a mature age student. Her first-hand experience as a primary teacher led her to realise the extent to which children were disengaged with mathematics from the earliest years of their formal schooling. This realisation led to a desire to research teaching approaches to find ways to spark students’ enthusiasm and love of mathematics while developing deep conceptual understanding. Over subsequent years, Jill divided her time between classroom teaching and research until she had completed her Master’s degree (Affective, Behavioural and Cognitive Engagement in Primary Mathematics: The Impact of Inquiry Based Learning) and then her PhD (Developing Argument-Based Inquiry in Primary Mathematics: The Role of Evidence and Context).
In 2014, Jill commenced at the University of Tasmania as a Lecturer in Mathematics Education. As she taught in the field, she became increasingly aware of many significant issues in mathematics education that were yet to be addressed in research. Subsequently, she took a Research Fellowship at the University of Queensland before moving into her research role at the ILSTE.
While early in her research career, Jill’s research has already attracted significant external funding: most recently a competitive ARC Discovery Grant (2017-2019) into developing the classroom norms that are conducive to Inquiry-Based Learning.
Her research is driven by the belief that all children have both the capacity and the right to enjoy mathematics and to learn mathematics with deep conceptual understanding.