I am a Reader in Education in the Sheffield Institute of Education. My research interests include understanding the socio-cultural and individual factors influencing professional and adult learning, particularly in relation to mathematics teacher learning and to doctoral researchers’ experience. Recent projects include narrative studies of experiences of learning on the professional doctorate and analysis of policy and workplace factors influencing opportunities for engagement in mathematics professional learning. I lead postgraduate research in education at Sheffield Hallam University and am Deputy Director of the Education, Childhood and Youth pathway of the White Rose Doctoral Training Programme. I came into higher education after seventeen years’ experience teaching and leading secondary mathematics and six years as a professional development advisor. I continue this involvement with school mathematics through designing and leading curriculum projects and professional learning opportunities for a range of audiences including academics, postgraduate research students and mathematics teachers.
My research interests include understanding the socio-cultural and individual factors influencing professional and adult learning, particularly in relation to mathematics teacher learning and to doctoral researchers’ experience. I led an evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme (2017-2018) and have contributed to evaluations of national mathematics curriculum and professional development projects. Recent projects include narrative studies of experiences of learning on the professional doctorate and analysis of policy and workplace factors influencing opportunities for engagement in mathematics professional learning.
I lead postgraduate research in the Sheffield Institute of Education. I have led the Doctorate in Education since 2015 and as Postgraduate Research Tutor co-ordinate support for doctoral researchers and supervisors in education, promoting opportunities for collaboration.
I began my career as a secondary mathematics teacher in inner London, later supporting schools in developing mathematics teaching. Prior to moving to Sheffield Hallam University, I volunteered in Ethiopia for two years with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), leading professional development programmes for teachers and teacher educators.
Building on my early career as a mathematics teacher and teacher educator, I have contributed internationally to curriculum and teacher development projects: Mathematics in the Making (MiMa) and the Erasmus+ funded Project in Citizenship and Mathematics (PiCaM).
Social Sciences and Arts
Department of Teacher Education
Social Sciences and Arts
I started at Sheffield Hallam University in September 2012, initially joining the Mathematics Education Centre. I have taught on a range of mathematics education modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. My current teaching is focused on the Doctorate in Education, which I have led since 2015, and on doctoral supervision.
Gill joined the Mathematics Education Centre at Sheffield Hallam University in September 2012 and has taught on a range of mathematics education modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Current teaching is focused on doctoral supervision and on the Doctorate in Education.
Project in Citizenship and Mathematics (PiCaM) (2017- 2020), Erasmus+
Longitudinal evaluation for the England-China maths education innovation research project (Shanghai teacher exchange) (2014-2018), Department for Education
Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme Phase 6 (2017-2018), Mathematics in Education and Industry
Multiplicative Reasoning professional development programme evaluation (2013-2015), NCETM
Developing Doctoralness: The student experience of feedback (2018-2020), Sheffield Hallam University
Investigating Happiness and the Doctoral Student Experience (2016-18), Sheffield Hallam University
A study of teacher led curriculum change: the case of SMILE Mathematics 1972-1990 (2016-2017), BA/Leverhulme
Mathematics in the Making (2013-2016), Comenius, European Union
Evaluation of the Further Mathematics Support Programme (2014-16), Mathematics in Education and Industry
Boylan, M., Adams, G., Willis, B., Coldwell, M., & Demack, S. (2018). Theorising variation in engagement in professional and curriculum development: performativity, capital, systems and purpose. Review of Education, 6 (3), 360-407. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/20496613
Adams, G. (2018). A narrative study of the experience of feedback on a professional doctorate: ‘A kind of flowing conversation’. Studies in Continuing Education. http://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2018.1526782
Adams, G., & Povey, H. (2018). “Now There’s Everything to Stop You”: Teacher autonomy then and now. In Jurdak, M., & Vithal, R. (Eds.) Socio-political dimensions of mathematics education: Voices from margin to mainstream. (pp. 209-230). Springer: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-72610-6_12
Povey, H., & Adams, G. (2018). Possibilities for mathematics education? : Aphoristic fragments from the past. The Mathematics Enthusiast, 15 (1-2), 159-177. https://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol15/iss1/10/
Adams, G. (2017). Using a narrative approach to illuminate teacher professional learning in an era of accountability. Teaching and teacher education, 67, 161-170. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.06.007
Taylor, C.A., Gannon, S., Adams, G., Donaghue, H., Hannam-Swain, S., Harris-Evans, J., ... Moore, P. (2019). Grim tales: Meetings, matterings and moments of silencing and frustration in everyday academic life. International Journal of Educational Research, 99, 101513. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2019.101513
Povey, H., Boylan, M., & Adams, G. (2019). Regulated time and expansive time in primary school mathematics. Pedagogy, Culture and Society. http://doi.org/10.1080/14681366.2019.1692059
Taylor, C., & Adams, G. (2019). Reconceptualizing doctoral students’ journeyings: Possibilities for profound happiness? International Journal of Educational Research. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2019.04.003
Gannon, S., Taylor, C., Adams, G., Donaghue, H., Hannan-Swain, S., Harris-Evans, J., ... Moore, P. (2019). ‘Working on a rocky shore’: Micro-moments of positive affect in academic work. Emotion, space and society. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2019.04.002
Boylan, M., Adams, G., Coldwell, M., Willis, B., & Demack, S. (2018). Context and Implications Document for: Theorising variation in engagement in professional and curriculum development: Performativity, capital, systems and purpose. Review of Education, 6 (3), 408-410. http://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3152
Povey, H., Adams, G., & Everley, R. (2017). “Its Influence Taints All”: Urban Math-ematics Teachers Resisting Performativity through Engagement with the Past. The Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 10 (2), 52-65. http://ed-osprey.gsu.edu/ojs/index.php/JUME
Povey, H., Adams, G., & Jackson, C. (2016). How making for a purpose in mathematics can provoke mathematical meaning making. Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, 31. http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/research/centres/stem/publications/pmej/pome31/index.html
Povey, H., Adams, G., & Jackson, C. (2016). “It was all led by them”: opening up opportunities for making mathematics through a children’s exhibition. Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 36 (1), 82-87. https://bsrlm.org.uk/publications/proceedings-of-day-conference/ip36-1/
Williams, L., Nixon, S., Hennessy, C., Mahon, E., & Adams, G. (2016). Inspiring to inspire: developing teaching in Higher Education. Cogent Education, 3, 1-12. http://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1154259
Hennessy, C., Adams, G., Mahon, E., Nixon, S., Pratt, A., & Williams, L. (2014). Discovering inspiring teaching: immersive models of staff development. Quality Assurance in Education, 22 (3), 240-254. http://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2013-0006
Adams, G. (2014). 'It doesn't have to be like this': Women mathematics teachers' experience of professional learning. Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 34 (1), 1-6. http://www.bsrlm.org.uk/IPs/ip34-1/BSRLM-IP-34-1-01.pdf
Adams, G. (2013). Women teachers' experiences of learning mathematics. Research in Mathematics Education, 15 (1), 87-88. http://doi.org/10.1080/14794802.2013.763607
Starczewska, A., Hodkinson, A., & Adams, G. (2011). Conceptions of inclusion and inclusive education: a critical examination of the perspectives and practices of teachers in Poland. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12 (3), 162-169. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2011.01209.x
Demissie, A., Povey, H., & Adams, G. (2019). What are the affordances and limitations of the Philosophy for Children (P4C) pedagogy for teaching and learning mathematics? In Curtis, F. (Ed.) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, Open University, 19 March 2019.
Chronaki, A., Adams, G., Andrade, M., Bruno, G., Demissie, F., Marcone, R., ... Yolcu, A. (2019). Unfolding global/local policies, practices and/or hybrids in mathematics education worldwide: utopias, pleasures, pressures and conflicts. Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference. https://www.mescommunity.info/proceedings/MES10.pdf
Povey, H., Adams, G., Demissie, F., & Chronaki, A. (2019). Initial report from the project in citizenship and mathematics (PICAM): moral and political dilemmas. Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society Conference. https://www.mescommunity.info/proceedings/MES10.pdf
Povey, H., & Adams, G. (2017). Thinking forward : using stories from the recent past in mathematics education in England. In Chronaki, A. (Ed.) Mathematics Education : Proceedings of 9th International Conference of Mathematics Education and Society (MES) Conference, Volos, Greece, April 2017, (pp. 803-811). Thessaly, Greece: International Conference of Mathematics Education and Society (MES): http://mes9.ece.uth.gr/portal/index.php/program-en/conferenceproceedings-en
Povey, H., Adams, G., & Everley, R. (2016). "Its influence taints all": mathematics teachers resisting performativity through engagement with the past. In 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Hamburg, 24 July 2016 - 2016.
Adams, G. (2012). Pushing the boundaries : Women teachers’ experiences of learning mathematics. Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 32 (2), 5-10. http://www.bsrlm.org.uk/IPs/ip32-2/BSRLM-IP-32-2-01.pdf
Povey, H., Adams, G., & Jackson, C. (2018). Time for work: finding worth-while-ness in making mathematics. In Ernest, P. (Ed.) Philosophy of Mathematics Education Today. (pp. 343-352). Dordrecht: Springer: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-77760-3_22
Starczewska, A., Hodkinson, A., & Adams, G. (2013). Poland, Special education in. In Reynolds, C.R., Vannets, K.J., & Fletcher-Janzen, E. (Eds.) Encyclopedia of special education : reference for the education of children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and other exceptional individuals. John Wiley & Sons, Inc: http://doi.org/10.1002/9781118660584.ese1883
Demack, S., Reaney-Wood, S., Adams, G., Stiell, B., & Culliney, M. (2019). Participation and Attainment in A level Mathematics & FurtherMathematics.
Boylan, M., Wolstenholme, C., Maxwell, B., Demack, S., Jay, T., Reaney, S., & Adams, G. (2019). Longitudinal evaluation of the Mathematics Teacher Exchange: China-England - Final Report. Department for Education. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-the-maths-teacher-exchange-china-and-england
Boylan, M., Demack, S., Willis, B., Stevens, A., Adams, G., & Verrier, D. (2015). Multiplicative reasoning professional development programme : evaluation. London: Department for Education. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/436832/RR406A_-_Multiplicative_Reasoning_Professional_Development_Programme.pdf
Donaghue, H., & Adams, G. (2021). Developing doctoral researcher identities through tutorial talk. Presented at: 7th International Conference on Professional and Practice-Based Doctorates
Perry, E., Booth, J., Boylan, M., & Adams, G. (2020). Professional change and resilience. Presented at: International Professional Development Association
Perry, E., Adams, G., & Burnett, C. (2018). Let it go! Learning through openness, space and play. Presented at: Festival of Social Science, Sheffield
Adams, G., & Povey, H. (2016). Workshop report: Using data from a history of Smile to overcome 'historic loneliness'. Presented at: BSRLM Day conference, Loughborough University, 2016
I am Deputy Director, Education, Childhood & Youth Pathway, ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership and Co-coordinator of the Doctorate in Education Directors' National Network. I have acted as Panel Member, Professional Doctorate (DBA) validation panel, SHU, 2018 and External reviewer, Nottingham Trent University (Professional Doctorates), 2016-2017.
I am a Member of British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics and held the role of Publications Officer for the society between 2014 – 2016. I have been the External examiner, Liverpool Hope University (PG Certificate in Mathematics Education), September 2016 -2020 and at the University of Brighton PGCE (Mathematics), 2014-2016.
Within the university I am a member of the Research Degrees Committee, the cross-university Doctoral Training Group and was a member of Faculty Ethics Committee for several years.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
I welcome informal contacts from prospective doctoral students in all areas related to my research interests.
Current doctoral researchers:
Ben Kirk, The impact of the primary PE specialist on the delivery of high quality physical education: A case study evaluation. EdD. Director of Studies.
Rachel Stone, Critical reflection in Higher Education teaching. EdD. Director of Studies.
Bob Sawyer, Challenging the attitudes and beliefs of teachers of mathematics using ‘Task Design’. PhD. Second supervisor.
Sarah Williams, What role do primary head teachers’ beliefs play in the conceptualisation of Physical Education? EdD. Director of Studies.
Harriet Agbenowu, An inclusive curriculum in a Special School: A cross national comparison, UK and Ghana. EdD. Director of Studies.
Amy Birkhead, Exploring beginning mathematics teachers’ development of identity. EdD. Director of Studies.
Completed doctoral researchers:
Herine Otieno, Improving students’ relationship with mathematics through self-regulated learning in Kenyan secondary schools. Commonwealth Scholar PhD, October 2018. Second supervisor.