Associate Professor Rhonda Faragher

Associate Professor

School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
r.faragher@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56481

Overview

Key research areas: Intellectual and developmental disability, Inclusive mathematics education; Down syndrome; Mathematics learning difficulties; Quality of life;

Dr Rhonda Faragher is an Associate Professor in Inclusive Education. She has internationally recognised expertise in the mathematics education of learners with Down syndrome. In her research and teaching, she works to improve the educational outcomes of students who have difficulties learning mathematics, for whatever reason, including through educational disadvantage. Beyond mathematics education, she has expertise in inclusive education in a range of contexts, including secondary classrooms.

Dr Faragher is the Director of the Down Syndrome Research Program within the School of Education. She is an appointed Board member to the Academy on Education, Teaching and Research of IASSIDD - the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Chair of the Down syndrome Special Interest Research Group of IASSIDD, Vice-President of Down Syndrome International and an Independent Director of Down Syndrome Australia. She is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities.

Dr Faragher is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of IASSIDD and has received a number of awards for her work including the 2020 UQ Award for Excellence in Community, Diversity and Inclusion, the 2016 ACU Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Staff Excellence, a Commonwealth of Australia Endeavour Executive Award and the 2011 Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Research Award.

Recent books

Siemon, D., Warren, E., Beswick, K., Faragher, R., Miller, J., Horne, M., Jazby, D., & Breed, M. (2020). Teaching mathematics: foundations to middle years. 3rd ed. Melbourne, Australia : Oxford University Press.

Brown, R. I., & Faragher, R. (Eds.). (2018). Quality of life and intellectual disability. Knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (Revised ed.). New York: Nova.

Faragher, R., & Clarke, B. (Eds.). (2014). Educating learners with Down syndrome: Research, theory and practice with children and adolescents. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Gaffney, M., & Faragher, R. (Eds.). (2014). Leading improvements in student numeracy. Camberwell, VIC: ACER.

Recent articles

Wanjagua, R., Hepburn, S., Faragher, R., John, S. T., Gayathri, K., Gitonga, M., Meshy, C. F., Miranda, L., & Sindano, D. (2022). Key learnings from COVID‐19 to sustain quality of life for families of individuals with IDD. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 19(1), 72–85. https://doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12415

Faragher, R., Chen, M., Miranda, L., Poon, K., Rumiati, Chang, F., & Chen, H. (2021). Inclusive Education in Asia: Insights From Some Country Case Studies. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 18(1), 23–35. https://doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12369

Faragher, R.M. & Clarke, B. A. (2020). Inclusive practices in the teaching of mathematics : some findings from research including children with Down syndrome. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 32(1), 121–146. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13394-019-00294-x Faragher, R,M. (2019). The New 'Functional Mathematics' for Learners with Down Syndrome : Numeracy for a Digital World. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 66(2), 206–217. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2019.1571172

Research Impacts

Everyone deserves the right to be successful with mathematics, not just for the opportunities for employment and social inclusion, but also for the sheer enjoyment of a major area of human endeavour. Unfortunately, too many students are not finding enjoyment and accomplishment in their mathematics education. Dr Faragher's research aims to

  • improve the opportunity for all students to achieve success by finding ways to work around learning difficulties,
  • refine techniques of inclusive mathematics classroom practice, and
  • explore pedagogical approaches to developing mathematical thinking for all learners.

For learners with Down syndrome, mathematics attainment has been limited in the past by perceptions of what these students would be able to achieve. Prior to Dr Faragher's groundbreaking research, very few studies beyond basic arithmetic and early number development had been undertaken. Dr Faragher has opened the field to study inclusive practices for students with Down syndrome in many areas of mathematics in primary and secondary school contexts. From this research, it is evident that much more can be expected of students with Down syndrome, and not just the remarkable few. By finding ways to adjust the standard curriculum for the year level of the student with Down syndrome, students have demonstrated learning outcomes across the domains of mathematics, including algebra, geometry and statistics. These techniques can be applied to mathematics planning for many other students who have mathematics learning difficulities.

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Educational Studies, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Flinders University

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Previous studies in FQOL have produced a body of data that could be compared with a new cohort of families. We anticipate changes in the experiences of new parents due to changes in social factors and the impact of research leading to improvements in social inclusion.

  • Assessment data from task-based interviews with primary aged children form the basis of analysis for developmental trends.

  • Further understandings around the connection between Down syndrome and Developmental Dyscalculia will be explored in this project using techniques from a variety of fields such as developmental psychology, neuroscience or education.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Faragher, Rhonda M., Broadbent, Carolyn, Brown, Roy I. and Burgess, Jill (2018). Applying the principles of quality of life to education. Quality of life and intellectual disability. Knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (pp. 37-54) edited by Roy I. Brown and Rhonda M. Faragher. Hauppauge, NY USA: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Brown, Roy and Faragher, Rhonda (2018). Quality of life in the wider world. Challenges from the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Quality of life and intellectual disability. Knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (pp. 3-18) edited by Roy I. Brown and Rhonda M. Faragher. Hauppauge, NY USA: Nova Science Publishers.

  • McArthur, Morag and Faragher, Rhonda (2018). Worries about children in families with complex needs. Quality of life and intellectual disability: knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (pp. 137-152) edited by Roy I. Brown and Rhonda M. Faragher. Hauppauge, NY USA: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Faragher, Rhonda, Hill, Janelle and Clarke, Barbara (2016). Inclusive practices in mathematics education. Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2012-2015. (pp. 119-141) edited by Katie Makar, Shelley Dole, Jana Visnovska, Merrilyn Goos, Anne Bennison and Kym Fry. Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-1419-2_7

  • Faragher, Rhonda, Gaffney, Michael and Skoss, Matt (2014). Articulating purposes and practices in numeracy development. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 167-180) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Clarke, Barbara and Faragher, Rhonda (2014). Developing early number concepts for children with Down syndrome. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 146-162) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London, UK: Routledge.

  • Gaffney, Michael, Faragher, Rhonda and Clarke, Doug (2014). Embedding numeracy development. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 181-199) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Clarke, Doug, Rhonda Faragher and Gaffney, Michael (2014). Engaging school communities with numeracy. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 92-109) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Gaffney, Michael and Faragher, Rhonda (2014). Improving student numeracy: a framework for development. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 24-43) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Faragher, R. (2014). Inclusive early numeracy experiences. Inclusive education in the early years: right from the start. (pp. 381-398) edited by Kathy Cologon. South Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Oxford University Press.

  • Faragher, Rhonda and Clarke, Barbara (2014). Mathematics profile of the learner with Down syndrome. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 119-145) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London, UK: Routledge.

  • Faragher, Rhonda, Poore, Megan and Gaffney, Michael (2014). Networking numeracy development. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 113-126) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Brown, Roy I. and Faragher, Rhonda M. (2014). Quality of life in the wider world. Challenges from the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Quality of life and intellectual disability: knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (pp. 3-18) edited by Roy I. Brown and Rhonda M. Faragher. Hauppauge, NY USA: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Faragher, Rhonda, Southwell, Julie and Gaffney, Michael (2014). Supporting numeracy development. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 127-145) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Clarke, Doug and Faragher, Rhonda (2014). Teaching mathematics effectively. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 47-65) edited by Mike Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • Gaffney, Michael, Clarke, Doug and Faragher, Rhonda (2014). The numeracy challenge: student achievement, teacher quality, school leadership and system policy. Leading improvements in student numeracy. (pp. 3-23) edited by Michael Gaffney and Rhonda Faragher. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

  • McArthur, M. and Faragher, R.M. (2014). Worries about children in families with complex needs. Quality of life and intellectual disability : knowledge application to other social and educational challenges. (pp. 137-152) edited by Roy I. Brown and Rhonda M. Faragher. Hauppauge, New York, United States: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Clarke, Barbara and Faragher, Rhonda (2013). Introduction. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 5-15) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London: Routledge.

  • Clarke, Barbara and Faragher, Rhonda (2013). Introduction. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 5-15) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315883588-10

  • Faragher, Rhonda (2013). Learning mathematics in the secondary school: possibilities for students with Down syndrome.. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 174-191) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London, UK: Routledge.

  • Stillman, Gloria Ann, Brown, Jill P., Faragher, Rhonda, Geiger, Vince and Galbraith, Peter (2013). The role of textbooks in developing a socio-critical perspective on mathematical modelling in secondary classrooms. Teaching mathematical modelling: connecting to research and practice. (pp. 361-371) edited by Gloria Ann Stillman, Gabriele Kaiser, Werner Blum and Jill P. Brown. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-6540-5_30

  • Faragher, Rhonda and Clarke, Barbara (2013). Where we are, where we would like to be, and (perhaps) how we get there. Educating learners with Down syndrome: research, theory, and practice with children and adolescents. (pp. 249-256) edited by Rhonda Faragher and Barbara Clarke. London, UK: Routledge.

  • Faragher, Rhonda M. (2010). Developing numeracy to enhance quality of life. Enhancing the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities: from theory to practice. (pp. 401-411) edited by Ralph Kober. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-90-481-9650-0_21

  • Diezmann, Carmel, Faragher, Rhonda, Lowrie, Tom, Bicknell, Brenda and Putt, Ian (2004). Exceptional students in mathematics. Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2000-2003. (pp. 175-195) edited by Bob Perry, Glenda Anthony and Carmel Diezmann. Flaxton, QLD, Australia: Post Pressed.

  • Clarke, Barbara and Faragher, Rhonda (2004). Possibilities not limitations: teaching special needs children. International perspectives on learning and teaching mathematics. (pp. 379-394) edited by Barbara Clarke, Doug Clarke, Goran Emanuelsson, Gengt Johansson, Diana V. Lambdin, Frank K. Lester, Anders Wallby and Karin Wallby. Goteborg, Sweden: National Center for Mathematics Education. Goteborg University.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

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.

  • Previous studies in FQOL have produced a body of data that could be compared with a new cohort of families. We anticipate changes in the experiences of new parents due to changes in social factors and the impact of research leading to improvements in social inclusion.

  • Assessment data from task-based interviews with primary aged children form the basis of analysis for developmental trends.

  • Further understandings around the connection between Down syndrome and Developmental Dyscalculia will be explored in this project using techniques from a variety of fields such as developmental psychology, neuroscience or education.

  • Over the more than forty years of data collection for the longitudinal Down syndrome research project, a vast repository of developmental data has been acquired. Various research studies using these data sets could be developed.