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Tim Rowland


Emeritus Reader in Mathematics Education



Tim Rowland was University Reader in Mathematics Education until his retirement from Cambridge in 2012. In his capacity as Emeritus Reader he sustains his wide range of interests in mathematics education, contributing regularly to books, professional and academic journals in the field. He was founding Editor, with Elena Nardi, of the Routledge journal Research in Mathematics Education ( between 2007 and 2014, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education. His RoutledgeFalmer book The Pragmatics of Mathematics Education reflects research interests in mathematics, linguistics, epistemology and education. In recent years, Tim's research has focused on the ways that teachers' mathematics content knowledge is made evident in their planning and teaching. He retains an active interest in doing and teaching mathematics, especially in the field of Number Theory.

In August 2012 Tim was appointed Honorary Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, where he works with the Mathematics Education Research Group. His also Professor II in Mathematics Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. He has held Visiting Professor positions in Chile, Mexico, Cyprus, Barcelona and Trondheim. He was Chair of the International Program Committee for the Seventh Conference of European Research in Mathematics Education held in Rzeszów, Poland, in 2011.

Tim was Vice President of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) until 2013, and Chair of the Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom 2012-15. The JMC promotes communication between the UK Societies and bodies for whom the advancement of mathematics and the improvement of the teaching of mathematics is of particular concern.

Academic Area

Science, Technology and Mathematical Education

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Tim continues to make occasional contributions to some Faculty of Education programmes.

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Selected Recent Publications


Andrews, P. and Rowland, T., Eds. (2013) MasterClass in Mathematics Education: International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning. London, Bloomsbury.

Rowland, T. and Ruthven, K. (2011) (Eds) Mathematical Knowledge in Teaching. London and New York: Springer.

Gagatsis, A., Rowland, T., Panaoura, A. and Stylianides, A. (2010) (Eds) Mathematics Education Research at the University of Cyprus and the University of Cambridge. Lefkosia: University of Cyprus.

Rowland, T., Turner, F., Thwaites, A. and Huckstep, P. (2009) Developing Primary Mathematics Teaching: reflecting on practice with the Knowledge Quartet. London: Sage.

Rowland, T. (2000) The Pragmatics of Mathematics Education: Vagueness in mathematical discourse. London: Falmer Press.

Refereed Book Chapters

Rowland, T. (2018) Mathematics knowledge for teaching: what have we learned? In Yeping Li and Rongjin Huang (Eds). How Chinese Acquire and Improve Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching, pp. 277-288. Leiden, the Netherlands. Brill/Sense Publishers.

Rowland, T. (2019) Frameworks for conceptualizing mathematics teacher knowledge. In Encyclopaedia of Teacher Education, edited by Michael A. Peters. Springer

Lin, F-L. and Rowland, T. (2016). Pre-Service and In-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Knowledge and Professional Development. In A. Gutierrez, G. C. Leder, & P. Boero, The Second Handbook of Research on the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 483-520). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Rowland, T. (2013) Mathematics teacher knowledge. In P. Andrews and T. Rowland (Eds.) MasterClass in Mathematics Education: International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning (pp. 87-98). London, Bloomsbury.

Rowland, T. (2013) The role of examples in mathematics teaching. In H. Mendick and D. Leslie (Eds) Debates in Mathematics Education, pp. 96-105. London: Routledge

Turner, F. and Rowland, T. (2011) The Knowledge Quartet as an organising framework for developing and deepening teachers’ mathematics knowledge. In T. Rowland & K. Ruthven (Eds) Mathematical Knowledge in Teaching (pp.195-212). London and New York: Springer.

Rowland, T. (2008) Researching teachers' mathematics disciplinary knowledge. In P. Sullivan and T. Wood (Eds.) International handbook of mathematics teacher education: Vol.1. Knowledge and beliefs in mathematics teaching and teaching development (pp. 273-298). Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Rowland, T. (2007) “Well maybe not exactly, but it’s around fifty basically”: vague language in mathematics classrooms.  In J. Cutting (Ed.) Vague Language Explored,  pp. 79-96. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Articles in Refereed Journals and Conference Proceedings

Breen, S., Meehan, M., O’Shea, A., and Rowland. T. (2018) An analysis of university mathematics teaching using the Knowledge Quartet. In V. Durand-Guerrier, R. Hochmuth, S. Goodchild & N.M. Hogstad (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second Conference of the International Network for Didactic Research in University Mathematics (pp. 383-392) Kristiansand, Norway: University of Agder and INDRUM.

Rowland, T. and Turner, (F). (2017) Who owns a theory? The democratic evolution of the Knowledge Quartet. In B. Kaur, W.K. Ho, T.L. Toh & B.H. Choy (Eds.) Proceedings of the 41st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 4, pp. 105-102. Singapore: PME.

Ineson, G., Voutsina, C, Fielding, H., Barber, P. and Rowland, T. (2015) Deconstructing ‘good practice’ teaching videos: an analysis of pre-service teachers’ reflections. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development 17(2), pp. 45-63

Rowland, T., Thwaites, A. and Jared, L. (2015) Triggers of contingency in mathematics teaching. Research in Mathematics Education 17(2), pp. 74-91

Rowland, T. (2015) Teacher learning provoked by teaching: equal-area triangles. Tangenten 2/2015, pp. 43-48

Salehmohamed, A. and Rowland, T. (2014) Whole-class interactions and code-switching in secondary mathematics teaching in Mauritius. Mathematics Education Research Journal.26(3), pp. 555-577

Rowland, T., Turner, F. and Thwaites, A. (2014) Research into teacher knowledge: a stimulus for development in teacher education practice. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 46(2), pp. 317-328

Rowland, T. (2014) The Knowledge Quartet: the genesis and application of a framework for analysing mathematics teaching and deepening teachers’ mathematics knowledge. SISYPHUS Journal of Education, 1(3), pp. 15-43

Rowland, T. and Zazkis, R. (2013) Contingency in the mathematics classroom: Opportunities taken and opportunities missed. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education 13(2), pp. 137–153.

Rowland, T. (2012) Contrasting knowledge for elementary and secondary mathematics teaching. For the Learning of Mathematics 32(1), pp. 16-21

Rowland, T. (2011) Å undervise i elementær matematikk: ikkje så elementært likevel [Teaching elementary mathematics: not elementary after all]. Tangenten 1/2011, pp. 2-8 (in Norwegian)

Wong, N-Y., Rowland, T.; Chan,W-S, Cheung, K-L. and Han, N-S. (2010) The Mathematical Knowledge of Elementary School Teachers: A Comparative Perspective. Journal of the Korea Society of Mathematical Education Series D: Research in Mathematical Education 14(2), pp. 187-207.

Rowland, T. (2008) The purpose, design and use of examples in the teaching of elementary mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics 69(2) pp. 149-163

Rowland, T. and Hatch, G. (2007) Learning to Teach? The Assistant Lecturer in Colleges of Education 1960-75. History of Education 36(1), pp. 65-88.

Rowland, T. (2007) "Well maybe not exactly, but it's around fifty basically": vague language in mathematics classrooms. In J. Cutting (Ed.) Vague Language Explored, pp. 79-96. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rowland, T. and Turner, F. (2007) Developing and using the Knowledge Quartet: a framework for the observation of mathematics teaching. The Mathematics Educator 10(1), pp. 107-124.

Rowland, T., Huckstep, P. and Thwaites, A. (2005) Elementary teachers' mathematics subject knowledge: the knowledge quartet and the case of Naomi. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 8(3) pp. 255-281.

Rowland, T. (2003) Mathematics as human activity: a different handshakes problem. The Mathematics Educator, 7(2), pp. 55-70.

Goulding, M., Rowland, T. and Barber, P. (2002) Does it matter? Primary teacher trainees' subject knowledge in mathematics. British Educational Research Journal 28(5) pp. 689-704.

Rowland, T. (2001) Generic proofs in number theory. In S. Campbell and R. Zazkis (Eds.) Learning and teaching number theory: Research in cognition and instruction. (pp. 157-184). Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing.

Huckstep, P. and Rowland, T. (2001) Being creative with the truth? Self-expression and originality in pupils' mathematics. In C. Morgan and K. Jones (Eds.) Research in Mathematics Education Volume 2: Papers of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics. (pp. 183-196) London: British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics.