Dr Kirsty Wilson

Dr Kirsty Wilson

School of Education
Lecturer in Primary and Early Years Mathematics Education

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, 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. 

Feedback and office hours

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


  • PhD (Warwick)
  • MA (Warwick)
  • BEd (Hons) (Cambridge)



Postgraduate supervision

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


Kirsty's research interests are in mathematics education, particularly

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

Other activities

Kirsty is 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 is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)


Selected publications

Delbauve, M., Hall, N., Hall, S., Stolberg, T. and Wilson, K. (2017) Collaborative Conversations: Developing a new way to view and approach peer-observation. Education in Practice, 3 (1): 19-21.

Wilson, K. (2007) Naming a column on a spreadsheet. Research in Mathematics Education , 8: 117-132. DOI: 10.1080/14794800008520162

Bills, L., Ainley, J. and Wilson, K. (2006) Modes of algebraic communication - moving from spreadsheets to standard notation. For the Learning of Mathematics, 26 (1): 36-41. 

Ainley, J., Bills, L. and Wilson, K. (2005) Algebra for a purpose: using spreadsheets at KS2/3. Derby: Association of Teachers of Mathematics. 

Ainley, J., Bills, L. and Wilson, K. (2005) Designing spreadsheet-based tasks for purposeful algebra. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 10 (3): 191-215. DOI:10.1007/s10758-005-8420-9

Bills, L., Wilson, K. and Ainley, J. (2005) Making links between arithmetic and algebraic thinking. Research in Mathematics Education, 7: 67-81. DOI: 10.1080/14794800008520146