Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sue Johnston-Wilder

Job Title
Associate Professor (Teaching Focussed)
Education Studies
02476 523813
Research Interests

Mathematics Education: the role of technology, history and modelling in promoting understanding of mathematical thinking in children and older learners
Recruitment, retraining, retention and professional development of teachers
Mathematics anxiety and the promotion of Mathematical Resilience in teachers, parents, supporters and learners
Developing Coaches for Mathematical Resilience
One-to-one interventions for students and staff with maths or stats anxiety


Sue trained as a secondary mathematics teacher at Cambridge University. She taught in London comprehensive schools, and worked with colleagues on early uses of ICT in teaching mathematics, including David Tall's Graphic Calculus.
Sue moved to Kings College London to work on Graded Assessment in Mathematics, the precursor to the National curriculum. PGCE and Masters courses and subsequently on the Nuffield Advanced Mathematics project, precursor to the current Alevel 'Use of Mathematics'.

In 1997 she moved to the Open University to co-ordinate the Mathematics PGCE and the development of maths subject knowledge of Primary PGCE students. For three years, she was Director of NOF-funded ICT training in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, based at De Montfort University, before returning to the OU to work on Researching Mathematics Learning and courses to develop mathematics subject knowledge of non-specialist teachers. This programme resulted in 3 books in the Sage 'Developing Thinking in Mathematics' series.

In collaboration with Clare Lee, working with students, teachers, school leaders, and parents, she has developed the construct 'Mathematical Resilience' as a positive framework for working with schools and families on 'the maths problem'. In collaboration with The Progression Trust and Asdan, she has developed a programme for developing Coaches for Mathematical Resilience, so that mathematically anxious adults can support mathematics learners, from where they are now with their mathematics. Sue has also used her work to contribute to a development programme that aims at strengthening STEM capabilities and resilience in two districts in South Africa. The project blog can be found here.

Title Funder Award start Award end
A survey of Mathematical Anxiety among existing apprentices Gatsby Charitable Foundation 01 Jun 2014 30 Sep 2014
Learning Consultancy research project. Kingswood Secondary Academy 17 Mar 2010 23 Jul 2010
Action research with Swanshurst Girls School Swanshurst Girls School 07 May 2010 20 Jul 2010
14 - 19 Deep Learning British Educational Communications and Technology Agency 01 Sep 2008 31 Mar 2009


Sue was a panellist on the first Maths Anxiety Awareness DayLink opens in a new window held by The Dyscalculia Network, The Maths Anxiety Trust and Learnus in association with National Numeracy

Sue's work with the Maths Anxiety Trust features on their websiteLink opens in a new window under the Resources and Research tabs

A parent describes the positive impact of using Sue's researchLink opens in a new window