Dr Kirsty Wilson

Dr Kirsty Wilson

School of Education
Senior Lecturer in Primary and Early Years Mathematics Education
Department Lead for Research

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Kirsty works part time, and leads the PGDipEd Primary Mathematics Specialist course.  Since joining the university in 2006, Kirsty has established and taught the General Primary and Early Years mathematics courses and the Primary Mathematics Specialist course. Prior to this, she was Research Officer on the ESRC funded project ‘Purposeful Algebraic Activity’ at the University of Warwick, where she also contributed to initial teacher education.  Within the broad area of mathematics education Kirsty is particularly interested in pedagogy and algebraic thinking.  Her PhD thesis explored the ways in which technology and teachers’ practices shape pupils’ thinking.  She is also interested in primary mathematics teacher education, and the ways in which mathematics subject knowledge and experience contribute to what teachers attend to when teaching mathematics. She is currently leading a research project on Mentoring in Primary Initial Education, which was funded by Research England.  The project aims to identify, enhance and disseminate effective mentoring practice.

Feedback and office hours

Kirsty works part time, 0.5FTE, and mainly works in the mornings.


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • PhD in Mathematics Education (ESRC funded) – University of Warwick
  • MA (Distinction) in Educational Studies: Mathematics Education (ESRC funded) – University of Warwick
  • BEd (Hons) (First Class) in Primary Education and Mathematics – University of Cambridge


Kirsty’s main responsibility is leading and teaching the PGDipEd Primary Mathematics Specialist course.  She is link tutor to Primary Mathematics Specialist trainees during their school experience.  She also supervises PhD, EdD and MA Teaching Studies students.

Postgraduate supervision

Supervision of MA Teaching Studies students, EdD and PhD students.


Kirsty's research interests are in primary mathematics education, particularly:

  • Early algebraic thinking and early understanding of number
  • The relationship between teachers’ practices and pupils’ evolving meanings
  • What teachers attend to, and the role of subject knowledge and experience
  • Pedagogy, including the 'teaching for mastery' approach 

More broadly, Kirsty is interested in teacher education, particularly:

  • Initial teacher education, including primary mathematics specialist teacher education
  • Professional development, including value creation in communities of practice

Other activities

Kirsty recently led, and continues to contribute to, a Work Group of ITE Providers for the Central Maths Hub. She has recently been External Examiner for the Early Primary and Primary PGCE at the University of Cambridge. She was formerly an External Examiner at Brunel University and Secretary of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics.  She reviews for various journals in education, including Research in Mathematics Education, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, and British Educational Research Journal.


Recent publications


Ainley, J, Bills, L & Wilson, K 2005, Algebra for a purpose: Using spreadsheets at KS2/3. Association of Teachers of Mathematics.


Alderton, J, Ineson, G, Donaldson, G, Rowland, T, Voutsina, C & Wilson, K 2022, '"You see things that you wouldn't have seen otherwise": enabling elementary preservice teachers to share different ways of seeing mathematics', Mathematics Education Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13394-022-00423-z

Voutsina, C, Alderton, J, Wilson, K, Ineson, G, Donaldson, G & Rowland, T 2021, 'Preservice teachers' expressed awarenesses: emerging threads of retro-spection and pro-spection of teaching', Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, vol. 585, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-020-09484-y

Delbauve, M, Hall, N, Hall, S, Stolberg, T & Wilson, K 2017, 'Collaborative conversations: developing a new way to view and approach peer-observation', Education in Practice, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 19-21. <https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/teaching-academy/documents/public/EiP-June-2017/Delbauve-et-al-Collaborative-Conversations.pdf>

Wilson, K 2007, 'Naming a column on a spreadsheet', Research in Mathematics Education, vol. 8, pp. 117-132.

Bills, L, Ainley, J & Wilson, K 2006, 'Modes of Algebraic Communication – moving from Spreadsheets to Standard Notation', For the Learning of Mathematics, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 36-41.

Conference contribution

Rowland, T, Ineson, G, Alderton, J, Donaldson, G, Voutsina, C & Wilson, K 2018, Primary pre-service teachers: reasoning and generalisation. in J Golding, N Bretscher, C Crisan, E Geraniou, J Hodgen & C Morgan (eds), Research Proceedings of the 9th British Congress on Mathematics Education: 3-6 April, University of Warwick, UK. BCME Conference Proceedings, British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, pp. 159-166, Proceedings of the 9th British Congress of Mathematics Education (BCME9) 2018, Warwick, United Kingdom, 3/04/18. <http://www.bsrlm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/BCME9-Research-Proceedings.pdf>

Alderton, J, Donaldson, G, Ineson, G, Rowland, T, Voutsina, C & Wilson, K 2017, Pre-service primary teachers' approaches to mathematical generalisation. in BSRLM Proceedings: Vol 37 No 3 at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, Saturday 11th November 2017., 1, BSRLM Proceedings, no. 3, vol. 37, British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 11/11/17. <http://www.bsrlm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/BSRLM-CP-37-3-01.pdf>

Other contribution

Wilson, K, Akhtar, K, Braim, B, Chung, S, Marley, B, O'Leary, C, Saunders, V, Smith, N & Whatmore, T 2023, Better together: Enhancing professional learning about mentoring through research and collaboration. CollectivED.

Wilson, K 2006, Reaction to ‘Considering some issues in mathematics teacher education.’ In I. Jones & J.P. Mejia-Ramos (Eds.) Working papers of the Warwick seminar group: 109-111. ISSN:1747-535X..

Wilson, K 2006, Reaction to ‘The flexibility of symbols.’ In I. Jones & J.P. Mejia-Ramos (Eds.) Working papers of the Warwick seminar group: 141-143. ISSN: 1747-535X..


Ineson, G, Alderton, J, Voutsina, C, Wilson, K, Donaldson, G & Rowland, T 2021, 'Tracing threads of awareness in initial teacher education: Peer collaboration', Paper presented at 14th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Shanghai, China, 11/07/21 - 18/07/21.

Wilson, K, Tzekaki, M, Kaldrimidou, M & Sakonidis, H 2009, 'Alignment between teachers' practices and pupils' attention in a spreadsheet environment', Paper presented at Proceedings of the thirty-third conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, 1/03/09 pp. 353-360.

Wilson, K & Ainley, J 2007, 'Teachers’ practices with spreadsheets and the development of algebraic activity', Paper presented at Proceedings of the Fifth conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, 3/03/07.

Wilson, K & Ainley, J 2006, 'Guiding the construction of meanings: the pedagogic practice of teachers using spreadsheets', Paper presented at Paper presented to Conference of British Educational Research Association, 1/09/06.

View all publications in research portal