Dr Colin Foster

Colin FosterAssociate Professor of Education

MA, PGCE, PhD (Cantab)
Chartered Mathematics Teacher
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education

Tel: 0116 229 7519
Email: colin.foster@le.ac.uk
Twitter: @colinfoster77
Personal website: www.foster77.co.uk

Personal details

I joined the School as Associate Professor of Education in 2018.

My research interests in mathematics education focus on the learning and teaching of mathematical problem solving and the design of rich tasks and their use in the mathematics classroom. I am particularly interested in the development of mathematical fluency and in the use of confidence assessment in school mathematics.

I recently collaborated with Professor Jeremy Hodgen and Dr Rachel Marks on a review of mathematics teaching, Improving Mathematics in Key Stages Two and Three, for the Education Endowment Foundation.

I contribute regularly to national and international conferences and academic journals and am a member of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics and the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. I am also a member of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association and I write regularly for teacher professional publications, such as Mathematics Teaching, Mathematics in School and Teach Secondary.

I recently appeared as a guest on the Mr Barton Maths Podcast.

Research Projects

  1. I am currently collaborating with Professor Jeremy Hodgen, Professor Margaret Brown, Professor Robert Coe and Professor Steve Higgins on the Investigating Mathematical Attainment and Progress project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. This aims to provide evidence to inform policy and practice directed at narrowing the achievement gap in mathematics.
  2. I am studying the development of mathematical fluency in secondary mathematics students in the Mathematical Etudes Project.
  3. In collaboration with Dr Matthew Inglis, I am analysing the prevalence of different topics in the most highly-cited papers in mathematics education.
  4. With Dr Ian Jones, I am using comparative judgment to examine the relative difficulty of A-level mathematics examination papers over time.


In addition to the supervision of doctoral students, Colin teaches on the PGCE Secondary.

Selected Recent Publications



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