Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai (Lecturer in Primary Mathematics Education) gave an invited keynote address at the seventh Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland (MEI 7) at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University on Saturday 12 October 2019. The conference’s theme of Mathematical Literacy provided an appropriate context for Dr. Trakulphadetkrai to shed light in an under-researched area of enhancing mathematics teaching through storytelling beyond the pre-school level.
He also used his keynote address to share with conference delegates his new mathematics teacher training video showcasing how a Year 6 teacher used a story book called ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar as a basis for her Mathematics lesson on volume and mass. The video had recently been released by his MathsThroughStories.org initiative and was funded by the University of Reading’s Endowment Fund.
This was not the first time Dr. Trakulphadetkrai was at Dublin City University. In March this year, he was invited to meet with representatives of Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) including Dr. Jacqueline Fallon (Director of Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA) and other NCCA representatives in charge of developing Ireland’s new primary mathematics curriculum to be rolled out in 2022. Dr. Fallon had previously read a research article co-authored by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai reporting key perceived barriers to and enablers for the integration of story picture books in mathematics teaching as reported by Irish primary teachers. Since then, Dr. Fallon and NCCA have been interested to learn more about the approach, particularly its adoption across the primary curriculum and not just at the pre-school level.
During that visit, he was also invited to run his popular Maths Through Stories training workshop for around 70 primary teacher trainees from both Dublin City University (Dublin, Republic of Ireland) and Ulster University (Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK) later that afternoon. The workshop was also attended by the NCCA representatives.