New Head of School to improve all students’ experiences

27 Feb 2019

Professor Kim Beswick grew up in regional Tasmania where educational attainment is relatively low.

After receiving a scholarship to further her studies at a boarding school during her senior years, she recalls her experience as challenging but motivating.

“I am passionate about kids not being judged on where they come from because I experienced it,” Professor Beswick says.

The award-winning university researcher has joined UNSW Sydney as the new Head of School of Education.

The former secondary mathematics and science teacher found that providing professional learning for teachers and principals can improve the way maths is taught.

“That was the question I was always really interested in – how can I teach this to ensure students understand better,” she says.


“I think maths teaching is traditionally centred on the teacher at the front of the classroom, working with students or advising the class to work in pairs or mainly working independently,”

“Where teachers use more of what we call a problem-solving approach, the students are given a more substantial problem that takes longer and might involve working in a group and talking to each other.”

Professor Beswick is a former member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts, has served on the International Committee of Psychology of Mathematics Education and has won numerous accolades for her work in maths education.

She has attracted more than $10m in competitive research funding including an Australian Research Council Future (ARC) Fellowship.

The Professor is currently co-directing a $2.6m project funded by the Australian Department of Training that will deliver research-based and rigorously tested professional learning for school principals aimed at supporting them to enhance the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in their school.

In her new role at UNSW, Professor Beswick is committed to improving educational opportunities for all students.

“I look forward to working and collaborating with fellow academics to improve all students’ experiences, especially for students from low socio-economic (SES) backgrounds,” she says.

“Access to education is a right for all children no matter where they come from.”