Associate Professor Katie Makar

Associate Professor

School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
k.makar@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 57949

Overview

Key research areas: Inquiry-based teaching practices in mathematics education; Statistical reasoning and informal inference;

Dr Katie Makar is an associate professor in mathematics education at the University of Queensland. She is known internationally for her work on informal inference and statistical reasoning of primary school children and is co-Director of the International Collaboration for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy. She has won multiple awards for her class-room based research and led 4 nationally funded research projects that focused on teaching of mathematics and statistics through inquiry. Her longitudinal research on teachers’ adoption of inquiry-based pedagogies in mathematics followed teachers over several years as they developed confidence over time. Katie has led consulting projects for Education Queensland, the Australian Academy of Science and Amplify Learning (New York) that developed inquiry-based curriculum materials in mathematics and statistics for primary and middle years. A hallmark of her work is her close collaboration with several teachers, who have presented with her around the world. Previously, she taught secondary mathematics for fifteen years in the US and Asia before finishing her PhD in 2004.

Research Interests

  • Informal statistical inference
  • Inquiry-based pedagogies
  • Mathematics and statistics education
  • Statistical thinking and reasoning
  • Teachers learning to teach mathematics with inquiry

Research Impacts

In inquiry-based learning, Dr Makar's research has been used as a model in the development of inquiry-based lessons for Queensland state schools and the creation of innovative statistics curriculum resources in the USA. Her work on informal statistical inference and inferential reasoning has had a major impact on the direction of international research on statistical reasoning at the school level.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Texas
  • Master of Arts, Mathematics, U.C.Berkeley
  • Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics, Mills Coll.

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • My main research focus is on understanding aspects of students and teachers' development of inquiry-based learning in mathematics. I would welcome RHD students with an interest in this area.

  • Most of my international publications and theoretical contributions have been in statistics education, particularly around informal statistical inference. My work focuses on its use with children from prep (age 4-5) through the school years.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Langrall, Cynthia W., Makar, Katie, Nilsson, Per and Shaughnessy, J. Michael (2017). Teaching and learning probability and statistics: an integrated perspective. In Jinfa Cai (Ed.), Compendium for research in mathematics education (pp. 490-525) Reston, VA, United States: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

  • Ben-zvi, Dani and Makar, Katie (2016). International perspectives on the teaching and learning of statistics. In Dani Ben-Zvi and Katie Makar (Ed.), The teaching and learning of statistics (pp. 1-10) Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-23470-0_1

  • Makar, Katie, Dole, Shelley, Visnovska, Jana, Goos, Merrilyn, Bennison, Anne and Fry, Kym (2016). Introduction: Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2012–2015. In Katie Makar, Shelley Dole, Jana Visnovska, Merrilyn Goos, Anne Bennison and Kym Fry (Ed.), Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2012-2015 (pp. 2-12) Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-1419-2-1

  • Fielding-Wells, Jill and Makar, Katie (2015). Inferring to a model: using inquiry-based argumentation to challenge young children's expectations of equally likely outcomes. In Andrew Zieffler and Elizabeth Fry (Ed.), Reasoning about uncertainty: learning and teaching informal inferential reasoning (pp. 1-28) Minneapolis, MN, United States: Catalyst Press.

  • Makar, Katie and Confrey, Jere (2014). Wondering, wandering or unwavering? Learners' statistical investigations with Fathom. In Thomas Wassong, Daniel Frischemeier, Pascal R. Fischer, Reinhard Hochmuth and Peter Bender (Ed.), Mit Werkzeugen Mathematik und Stochastik lernen - Using Tools for Learning Mathematics and Statistics (pp. 351-362) Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer Spektrum. doi:10.1007/978-3-658-03104-6_25

  • Makar, Katie and O'Brien, Mia (2013). Blurring the boundaries: the transformative nature of research participation. In Warren Midgley, Patrick Alan Danaher and Margaret Baguley (Ed.), The Role of Participants in Education Research: Ethics, Epistemologies, and Methods (pp. 110-125) New York, NY, United States: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203078389

  • Biehler, Rolph, Ben-Zvi, Dani, Bakker, Arthur and Makar, Katie (2013). Technology for enhancing statistical reasoning at the school level. In M. A. (Ken) Clement, Alan J. Bishop, Christine Keitel, Jeremy Kilpatrick and Frederick K. S. Leung (Ed.), Third International Handbook of Mathematics Education (pp. 643-689) New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-4684-2

  • Makar, Katie (2012). The pedagogy of mathematics inquiry. In Robyn M. Gillies (Ed.), Pedagogy: new developments in the learning sciences (pp. 371-397) New York, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Makar, Katie and Fielding-Wells, Jill (2011). Teaching teachers to teach statistical investigations. In Carmen Batanero, Gail Burrill and Chris Reading (Ed.), Teaching statistics in school mathematics: Challenges for teaching and teacher education. A Joint ICMI/IASE Study: The 18th ICMI Study (pp. 347-358) Dordrech, Netherlands: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-1131-0_33

  • Olive, John and Makar, Katie (2010). Mathematical knowledge and practices resulting from access to digital technologies. In C. Hoyles and J-B. Lagrange (Ed.), Mathematics Education and Technology - Rethinking the Terrain (pp. 133-178) New York, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0146-0_8

  • Makar, K. and Confrey, J. (2007). Moving the context of modelling to the forefront: Preservice teachers’ investigations of equity in testing. In W. Blum, P. L. Galbraith, H.-W. Henn and M. Niss (Ed.), Modelling and applications in mathematics education: the 14th ICMI study (pp. 485-490) Norwell, USA: Springer.

  • Confrey, Jere and Makar, Katie M. (2005). Critiquing and improving the use of data from high-stakes tests with the aid of dynamic statistics software. In Chris Dede, James P. Honan and Laurence C. Peters (Ed.), Scaling up success: Lessons learned from technology-based educational improvement (pp. 198-226) San Francisco, CA, Australia: Jossey-Bass.

  • Makar, Katie and Confrey, Jere (2004). Secondary teachers’ statistical reasoning in comparing two groups. In Dani Ben-Zvi and Joan Garfield (Ed.), The challenge of developing statistical literacy, reasoning, and thinking (pp. 353-373) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. doi:10.1007/1-4020-2278-6_15

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Allmond, Sue, Hillman, Judith, Huntly, Karen, Makar, Katie and O'Brien, Mia (2016). Assessing children’s progress in taking intellectual risks in a mathematical inquiry classroom with a positive learning approach. In: Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA39). 39th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA39), Adelaide, VIC, Australia, (). 3 - 7 July 2016.

  • Makar, Katie (2016). Improving the intellectual quality of pedagogy in primary classrooms through mathematical inquiry. In: Bruce White, Mohan Chinnappan and Sven Trentolm, Opening up Mathematics Education Research: Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Adelaide, SA, Australia, (429-436). 3-7 July 2016.

  • Fielding-Wells, Jill and Makar, Katie (2015). "If it doesn't have an apex it's not a pyramid": argumentation as a bridge to mathematical reasoning. In: Kim Beswick, Tracey Muir and Jill Wells, Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Psychology of Mathematics Education: PME 39, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (297-304). 13-18 July 2015.

  • O'Brien, Mia, Makar, Katie, Fielding-Wells, Jill and Hillman, Jude (2015). How inquiry pedagogy enables teachers to facilitate growth mindsets in mathematics classrooms. In: Margaret Marshman, Vince Geiger and Anne Bennison, Mathematics education in the margins: proceedings of the 38th annual conference of the mathematics education research group of Australasia. Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Conference, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia, (469-476). 28 June - 2 July 2015.

  • Makar, Katie, Bakker, Arthur and Ben-Zvi, Dani (2015). Teacher's scaffolding over the year to develop norms of mathematical inquiry in a primary classroom. In: Margaret Marshman, Vince Geiger and Anne Bennison, Mathematics education in the margins: proceedings of the 38th annual conference of the mathematics education research group of Australasia. Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Conference, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia, (397-404). 29 June - 2 July 2015.

  • McPhee, Debra and Makar, Katie (2014). Exposing young children to activities that develop emergent inferential practices in statistics. In: K. Makar, B. Sousa and R. Gould, Sustainability in statistics education. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Teaching Statistics. International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS9), Flagstaff, AZ, United States, (). 13-18 July 2014.

  • Allmond, Sue and Makar, Katie (2014). From hat plots to box plots in TinkerPlots: supporting students to write conclusions which account for variability in data. In: Katie Makar, Bruno de Sousa and Robert Gould, ICOTS-9 Conference Proceedings: Sustainability in statistics education. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Teaching Statistics. ICOTS9: 9th International Conference on Teaching Statistics 2014, Flagstaff, AZ, USA, (1-6). 13-18 July, 2014.

  • Makar, Katie and Rubin, Andee (2014). Informal statistical inference revisited. In: Katie Makar, Bruno de Sousa and Robert Gould, ICOTS-9 Conference Proceedings: Sustainability in statistics education. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Teaching Statistics. ICOTS9: 9th International Conference on Teaching Statistics 2014, Flagstaff, AZ, USA, (1-6). 13-18 July, 2014.

  • Horne, Rhonda and Makar, Katie (2013). Building relationships between state stakeholders and researchers: people, persistence and passion. In: Vicki Steinle, Lynda Ball and Caroline Bardini, MERGA36: 2013. Mathematics Education: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. MERGA 36: 36th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (767-770). 7-11 July, 2013.

  • Makar, K., Dole, S., Horne, R., Debritz, C. and Allmond, S. (2013). From small project to large-scale implementation: bridging research and practice. In: MERGA 36: 36th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (). 7-11 July, 2013.

  • Fielding-Wells, Jill and Makar, Katie (2013). Inferring to a model: using inquiry-based argumentation to challenge young children's expectations of equally likely outcomes. In: SRTL-8: The International Collaboration for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy. Reasoning About Uncertainty in the Context of Making Informal Statistical Inferences. The Eighth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy (SRTL-8), Two Harbors, MN, USA, (184-200). 18-24 August, 2013.

  • Makar, Katie and Dole, Shelley (2013). Inquiry-based learning in mathematics: designing collaborative research with schools. In: Vicki Steinle, Lynda Ball and Caroline Bardini, MERGA36: 2013. Mathematics Education: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. MERGA 36: 36th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (755-758). 7-11 July, 2013.

  • Bakker, Arthur, Ben-Zvi, Dani, Makar, Katie and Kurvers, Tim (2013). Reducing uncertainty in a hospital laboratory: a vocational student's web of reasons and actions involved in making a statistical inference. In: SRTL-8: The International Collaboration for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy. Reasoning About Uncertainty in the Context of Making Informal Statistical Inferences. The Eighth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy (SRTL-8), Two Harbors, MN, USA, (34-48). 18-24 August 2013.

  • Fry, Kym and Makar, Katie (2012). Assessing for learning in inquiry mathematics. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Congress of Mathematics Education. 12th International Congress of Mathematics Education, Seoul, Korea, (6699-6708). 8-15 July 2012.

  • Fielding-Wells, Jill and Makar, Katie (2012). Developing primary students' argumentation skills in inquiry-based mathematics classrooms. In: Jan van Aalst, Kate Thompson, Michael J. Jacobson and Peter Reimann, ICLS Conference Proceedings – Volume 2, Short Papers, Symposia, and Abstracts. 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, Sydney, Australia, (149-153). 2-6 July 2012.

  • Rampal, Anita and Makar, Katie (2012). Embedding authenticity and cultural relevance in the primary mathematics curriculum. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Congress of Mathematics Education. The Twelfth International Congress of Mathematics Education, Seoul, Korea, (6616-6625). 8-15 July 2012.

  • Dole, Shelley, Makar, Katie and Gillies, Robyn (2012). Enacting the intended curriculum through inquiry pedagogy. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Congress of Mathematics Education. The Twelfth International Congress of Mathematics Education, Seoul, Korea, (6561-6570). 8-15 July 2012.

  • Ben-Zvi, Dani, Makar, Katie, Bakker, Arthur and Aridor, Keren (2011). Children's reasoning about samples in an inquiry-based learning environment. In: SRTL-7 - Seventh International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy, Utrecht, Netherlands, (1-12). 17-23 July 2011.

  • Ben-Zvi, Dani, Makar, Katie, Bakker, Arthur and Aridor, Keren (2011). Children’s emergent inferential reasoning about samples in an inquiry-based environment. In: Marta Pytlak, Tim Rowland and Ewa Swoboda, Symposium and Working Group 5 on Stochastic Thinking at the Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education. 7th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Rzeszow, Poland, (745-754). 9 - 13 February 2011.

  • Makar, Katie, Wells, Jill and Allmond, Sue (2011). Is this game 1 or game 2? Primary children's reasoning about samples during inquiry. In: SRTL-7: The International Collaboration for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Learning. Presentation papers. International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (7th, SRTL, 2011), Utrecht, Netherlands, (17-39). 17-23 July 2011.

  • Makar, Katie (2011). Learning over time: Pedagogical change in teaching mathematical inquiry. In: Julie Clark, Barry Kissane, Judith Mousley, Toby Spencer and Steve Thornton, Mathematics: Traditions and [New] Practices : Proceedings of the AAMT–MERGA Conference. Mathematics Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) 2011, Alice Springs, NT, Australia, (27-37). 3 - 7 July 2011.

  • Allmond, Sue and Makar, Katie (2010). Developing primary students' ability to pose questions in statistical investigations. In: Chris Reading, Data and context in statistical education: Towards an evidence-based society. 8th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS8), Ljubljana, Slovenia, (). 11-16 July 2010.

  • Makar, Katie (2010). Teaching primary teachers to teach statistical inquiry: The uniqueness of initial experiences. In: Chris Reading, Data and context in statistical education: Towards an evidence-based society. 8th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS8), Ljubljana, Slovenia, (). 11-16 July 2010.

  • Ben-Zvi, D., Makar, K. and Bakker, A. (2009). Towards a framework for understanding students' informal statistical inference and argumentation. In: Sixth International Forum for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy, Brisbane, Australia, (). 10-16 July 2009.

  • Makar, Katie and McPhee, D. (2009). Young children's exploration of average in an inquiry classroom. In: R. Hunter, B. Bicknell and T. Burgess, MERGA 32: Crossing Divides. 32nd Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, (347-354). 5-9 July 2009.

  • Makar, Katie (2008). A model of learning to teach statistical inquiry. In: Batanero, C., Burrill, G., Reading, C. and Rossman, A, Proceedings of the ICMI Study 18 Conference and IASE 2008 Round Table Conference. Joint ICMI/IASE Study Statistics in School Mathematics. Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education, Monterrey, Mexico, (1-6). 30 June - 4 July 2008.

  • Makar, K. (2008). Knowledge for teaching mathematics through inquiry. In: Adler, J. and Ball, D., Eleventh International Congress for Mathematical Education (ICME-11). Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, Monterrey, Mexico, (1-8). 6-13 July 2008.

  • Fielding-Wells, Jill and Makar, Katie (2008). Student (dis)engagement in mathematics. In: P. L. Jeffery, Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). AARE 2008 International Education Conference Brisbane: Changing Climates: Education for Sustainable Futures, Brisbane, Australia, (1-10). 30 November-4 December 2008.

  • Fielding-Wells, J. and Makar, K. (2008). Using mathematical inquiry to engage student learning within the overall curriculum. In: J. Adler and D. Ball, Eleventh International Congress for Mathematical Education (ICME-11). Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching, Monterrey, Mexico, (1-17). 6-13 July 2008.

  • Makar, K. (2007). 'Connection levers': Developing teachers expertise with mathematical inquiry. In: Watson, J. and Beswick, K., Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice, Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Hobart, TAS, (483-492). 2-6 July 2007.

  • Makar, K. and Rubin, A. (2007). Beyond the bar graph: Teaching informal statistical inference in primary school. In: J. Ainley and D. Pratt, Proceedings of the Fifth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy. Reasoning about Statistical Inference: Innovative Ways of Connecting Chance and Data, The University of Warwick, (1-29). 11-17 August 2007.

  • Goos, Merrilyn, Dole, Shelley and Makar, Katie (2007). Supporting an investigative approach to teaching secondary school mathematics: A professional development model. In: J. Watson and K. Beswick, Mathematics: Essential research, essential practice : Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasi. Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Conference, Hobart, Australia, (325-334). 2-6 July 2007.

  • Makar, K and Confrey, J. (2006). Dynamic statistical software: How are learners using it to conduct data-based investigations?. In: C. Hoyles, J. B. Lagrange and L. H. Son et al., Proceedings of the Seventeenth ICMI Study Conference. Digital Technologies and Mathematics Teaching and Learning: Rn, Hanoi University of Technology, (). 3-8 December 2006.

  • Makar, Katie (2006). Innovative inquiry-based mathematics teaching in middle school. .. In: Excitement in the Classroom: ACEL/Microsoft Online Conference on Innovative Teaching and Learning. 1st ACEL Microsoft Online Conference, online, (). 2006.

  • Canada, D. and Makar, K. (2006). Preservice teachers' informal descriptions of variation. In: Program and Supplements of the 2006 AERA Annual Meeting: Research in the Public Interest. 2006 AERA Annual Meeting: Research in the Public Interest, San Francisco, California, (281-281). 7 - 11 April, 2006.

  • Makar, Katie and Canada, Dan (2005). Preservice teachers’ conceptions of variation. In: Chick, H.L. and Vincent, J.L., Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Psychology of Mathematics Education PME 29, University of Melbourne, (273-280). 10-15 July, 2005.

  • Makar, Katie and Confrey, Jere (2005). Using distributions as statistical evidence in well-structured and ill-structured problems. In: K. Makar, Proceedings of the Fourth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL-4). SRTL4 - 2005: Fourth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy, University of Auckland, New Zealand, (). 2-7 July, 2005.

  • Makar, K. and Confrey, J. (2004). Modeling Fairness of Student Achievement in Mathematics Using Statistical Software by Preservice Secondary Teachers. In: Fourteenth Study of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction (ICMI-14). Applications and Modelling in Mathematics Education: Fourteenth Study of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction (ICMI-14), Dortmund, Germany, (). February, 2004.

  • Makar, K. and Confrey, J. (2003). Clumps, chunks, and spread out: Secondary preservice teachers' reasoning about variation. In: C. Lee, Proceedings of the Third International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy (SRTL-3). Third International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, (). 23-28 Jul 2003.

  • Confrey, J. and Makar, K. (2003). Critiquing and Improving Data Use from High Stakes Tests: Understanding Variation and Distribution in Relation to Equity Using Dynamic Statistics Software. In: Scaling Up Success: A Usable Knowledge Conference, Harvard Graduate School of Education, University of Harvard, (). 20-21 Mar 2003.

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • My main research focus is on understanding aspects of students and teachers' development of inquiry-based learning in mathematics. I would welcome RHD students with an interest in this area.

  • Most of my international publications and theoretical contributions have been in statistics education, particularly around informal statistical inference. My work focuses on its use with children from prep (age 4-5) through the school years.