• 576 Citations
1988 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Joanne Mulligan is Professor of Education specialising in mathematics and STEM education from early childhood to secondary level. Joanne's background is in educational psychology, primary teaching and professional leadership. She has expertise in the psychology of mathematics education, specialising in research in early mathematical development and learning, pedagogy, assessment and curricula. Her 27 years of service to Macquarie University includes pre-service teacher education program teaching, development and co-ordination, supervision of Higher Degree Research students, and Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRiMSE) from 2004-2009. More recently Joanne led the $2.3m Opening Real Science (ORS) Project (2013- 2017) a collaborative cross-institutional project focused on improving primary and secondary teacher education programs under the Australian Government's Enhancing the Training of Mathematics and Science Teachers' scheme (ETMST).

Joanne's research spans cross- and interdisciplinary fields including cognitive and developmental psychology, learning sciences, special education, educational measurement, professional development and teacher education. Since appointment to MQ, she has been awarded successive ARC and stakeholder-funded projects on the development of number and multiplicative reasoning, early algebraic and spatial thinking, represented by large-scale empirically-based longitudinal designs and a range of mixed methodologies.

Joanne is renown for her contribution to the profession through state, national and international curriculum reviews and projects including Count Me In To, Counting On, Numeracy Research in Primary Schools, the Australian Government Quality Teacher Program (AGQTP), the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM), the Enhancing Success in Mathematics project (ESiM), and Top Drawer Teacher. The impact of the Pattern and Structure Assessment (PASA) and the Pattern and Structure Mathematics Awareness Program (PASMAP) (2003-present) for early mathematics has been achieved at system, national and international level. She actively contributes to international groups in mathematics education such as her recent role as co-chair of the Early Childhood Mathematics Education Group for the International Congress on Mathematics Education 2013-2016, Hamburg (ICME-13) and as the Australasian representative to the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction Study Group 23 (ICMI23) committee, 2014-2017.

Joanne currently leads ARC Discovery project, Connecting Mathematics Learning with Spatial Reasoning (2017-2020) in Grades 3-5 informed by her participation in the International Spatial Reasoning Study Group (IOSTEM, University of Calgary). She is also mathematics education lead on ARC Discovery project, Enriching Mathematics and Science Learning: An Interdisciplinary Approach in Grades 1- 6 through Deakin University.

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Enriching mathematics and science learning: an interdisciplinary approach

Mulligan, J., Tytler, R., Xu, L., White, P., Schauble, L., Lehrer, R. & Prain, V.


Project: Research

Connecting mathematics learning through spatial reasoning

Mulligan, J., Woolcott, G., Mitchelmore, M., Davis, A. & Duff, S.


Project: Research

MQ Learning Sciences Laboratory (MQSL)

Halbert, C., Lockyer, L., Mulligan, J., Arguel, A., Pachman, M., Highfield, K., Newall, C., Chik, A. & Bower, M.


Project: Research

An early childhood community-based mathematics and science approach to addressing Indigenous disadvantage in remote communities

Neilsen-Hewett, C., Grace, R., Alperstein, G., Papic, M., Mulligan, J., McKay-Tempest, J. & MQRES, M.


Project: Research

  • Research Outputs

    Evaluating the impact of a Spatial Reasoning Mathematics Program (SRMP) intervention in the primary school

    Mulligan, J., Woolcott, G., Mitchelmore, M., Busatto, S., Lai, J. & Davis, B., Jun 2020, In : Mathematics Education Research Journal. 32, 2, p. 285-305 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Supporting early mathematical development through a ‘pattern and structure’ intervention program

    Mulligan, J., Oslington, G. & English, L., Aug 2020, In : ZDM - Mathematics Education. 52, 4, p. 663–676 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 5 Citations (Scopus)

    Supporting mathematical thinking through pattern and structure: PAMPhlet 88

    Mulligan, J., 1 Mar 2020, 6 p. Sydney : Mathematical Association of NSW.

    Research output: Other contribution

  • Teachers’ understanding and use of mathematical structure

    Gronow, M., Mulligan, J. & Cavanagh, M., 20 Jun 2020, In : Mathematics Education Research Journal. 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • The central position of education in knowledge mobilization: insights from network analyses of spatial reasoning research across disciplines

    Woolcott, G., Chamberlain, D., Hawes, Z., Drefs, M., Bruce, C. D., Davis, B., Francis, K., Hallowell, D., McGarvey, L., Moss, J., Mulligan, J., Okamoto, Y., Sinclair, N. & Whiteley, W., 14 Sep 2020, In : Scientometrics. 25 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    • 42 Invited talk
    • 7 Oral presentation

    Planning interdisciplinary maths/science learning sequences for system impact

    Peta White (Speaker), Russell Tytler (Speaker), Melinda Kirk (Speaker), Lihua Xu (Speaker), Vaughan Prain (Speaker), Chris Speldwinde (Speaker), Chris Neilsen (Speaker), Joanne Mulligan (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation