Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Kay Owens

Dr Kay Owens

BA MEd Syd, GULT CSU PhD Deakin

Kay Owens chose a lecturing position at Charles Sturt University in Dubbo in the School of Teacher Education in 2003 after serving for 15 years at the University of Western Sydney where she was a Senior Lecturer. During that period she gained her PhD in mathematics education on young children engaged in spatial problem solving.

Kay has a long career internationally with 15 years in Papua New Guinea where she held a lectureship in mathematics at the PNG University of Technology and a Head of Department position at Balob Teachers College. She was also selected for a Swedish lecturer exchange to Gothenburg University for the enhancement of tertiary education in that country and for a Masters Course at the Inter-University Institute in Macau. Kay has continued her research working with colleagues in Papua New Guinea and Sweden with a focus on ethnomathematics (mathematics, language and culture) and space, geometry and measurement education. Her international projects have been funded by USA National Science Foundation, AusAid and her universities competitive grants while her local and state projects have had funding from state and federal governments and non-government agencies and her universities.

She has worked recently with local regional schools especially on quality teaching projects and with the Indigenous community. She has undertaken several studies evaluating education initiatives and held a number of professional positions as President, Vice-President, Editor and Executive member for Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, The Mathematics Association of NSW, Australian College of Educators (Orana Regional Group).

Her university teaching interests are early childhood and primary mathematics education, literacy education, and sustainability (HSIE) education, and schools, communities, children and social justice in a global world. She also teaches educational research subjects. She is a member of the University of Goroka Glen Lean Ethnomathematics Centre, PNG, and the CSU Curriculum, Policy and Change research group. She has organised a number of regional conferences in Dubbo.

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Dr Kay Owens' major areas of interest include:

  • Primary and secondary mathematics education
  • Visuospatial reasoning, geometry and measurement mathematics
  • Students' responsiveness to learning experiences that engage them
  • Ethnomathematics, particularly in Papua New Guinea
  • Assessing spatial knowledge
  • Teacher education evaluation
  • Working with Indigenous communities
  • Sustainability education

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  • Teaching investigating in early childhood in mathematics and science, primary mathematics education, social science and sustainability education, Masters research subjects, Masters and PhD supervision.
  • Incorporation of ICTs, social justice, Indigenous and global perspectives in mathematics education.
  • On-line materials provide the essence of the topic, linked to further reading, learning tasks, and illustrative videos in classrooms (often involved in the making), and recorded lectures, and alignment of learning and assessment with clear standards.

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  • Organising Member of the Orana Mathematics Association, Cluster of Mathematical Association of NSW
  • Facilitator of Workshops in village areas of Papua New Guinea on improving teaching in early school Cultural Mathematics
  • Formerly Vice President Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia and editor of two books on Mathematics Education Research in Australasia
  • Former President and Secretary, currently Committee Member of Australian College of Education Orana Regional Group
  • Former President and Web Manager of Dubbo Field Naturalists and Conservation Society
  • Organiser of local three day forum: Discontinuities and Continuities in Literacy and Numeracy Education for Young Indigenous Children: Global perspectives on the influence of historical and contemporary contexts with representatives from four nations
  • Organiser for two mini-conferences on Education for Cultural and Environmental Sustainability with representatives from across the local community
  • Executive member of Primary Association of Mathematics of the Mathematics Association of NSW, former editor of PAMphlets and tertiary representative
  • Evaluation Case Study Writer for Glenroi Heights (Orange) Schools in Smarter Stronger Learning Communities; 
  • Critical friend to HOTIQ (Higher Order Thinking Intellectual Quality) and Outback Maths ASISTM projects and AQTIP project, Cowra; 
  • Evaluator of Bidialectal approach to teaching Standard Australian English, Dubbo region

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Refereed Research Journal Publications

  • Owens, K. (2015). Visuospatial reasoning: An ecocultural perspective on space, geometry and measurement education. Mathematics Education Library, volume 111. New York: Springer.
  • Owens, K. (2014). The impact of a teacher education culture-based project on identity as a mathematically thinking teacher. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education,42(2), 186-207. Doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2014.892568
  • Owens, K. (2014). Changing the teaching of mathematics for improved Indigenous education in a rural Australian city. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, DOI: 10.1007/s10857-014-9271-x
  • Owens, K. (2014). The role of Indigenous traditional counting systems in children's development of numerical cognition: Results from a study in Papua New Guinea, Mathematics Education Research Journal, DOI: 10.1007/s13394-013-0115-2
  • Owens, K. (2013). Diversifying our perspectives on mathematics about space and geometry: An ecocultural approach. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.
  • Owens, K. (2013). Ethnomathematics in resettled Indigenous communities whose language and children were once alienated, Revista Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática: Perspectivas Socioculturales de la Educación Matemática, 6(3), 67-77.
  • Owens, K. (2013). Book review: Meaney, T., Trinick, T., & Fairhall, U. (2012).Collaborating to meet language challenges in Indigenous mathematics classrooms. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 25(1), 185-188.
  • Owens, K. (2013). Book Review:  Saxe, Geoffrey with Esmonde, Indigo (2012). Cultural development of mathematical ideas: Papua New Guinea Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 7(1), 90-93.
  • Owens, K. (2012). Policies and practices: Indigenous voices in education.  Journal of Mathematics and Culture (on-line), 6(1), 51-75.
  • Owens, K. (2012). Papua New Guinea Indigenous knowledges about mathematical concepts. Journal of Mathematics and Culture (on-line), 6(1), 15-49.
  • Owens, K., Doolan, P., Paraide, P., Bennet, M., Paraide, P., Logan, P., et al. (2012). Continuities in education: A case study of Indigenous voices in education. Journal for Australian Indigenous Issues, 15(1), 20-39.
  • Owens, K., Paraide, P., Jannok Nutti, Y., Johansson, G., Bennet, M. et al.  (2011). Cultural horizons for mathematics, Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(2), 253-274. DOI 10.1007/s13394-011-0014-3
  • Owens, K. (2008). Culturality in mathematics education: A comparative study, Nordisk Matematikk Didaktikk-Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 13(4), 7-28.
  • Owens, K. (2008). Identity as a mathematical thinker. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 9, 36-50.

Refereed Book Chapters

  • Bino, V.,Owens, K., Tau, K., Avosa, M., & Kull, M. (2013). Chapter Eight: Improving the teaching of mathematics in elementary schools in Papua New Guinea: A first phase of implementing a design. In J. Pumwa (Ed.) Mathematics digest: Contemorary discussions in various fields with some mathematics – ICPAM-Lae (pp. 84-95). Lae, PNG: PNG University of Technology.
  • Owens, K. (2013). Chapter Nine: The current status of ethnomathematics in Papua New Guinea: Its importance in education. In J. Pumwa (Ed.) Mathematics digest: Contemorary discussions in various fields with some mathematics – ICPAM-Lae (pp. 96-102). Lae, PNG: PNG University of Technology.
  • Owens, K., Sakopa, P., Kravia, G., Bino, V., Me'e, K., & Kopamu, S. (2013). Chapter Ten: Profssional learning enhanced by technology for elementary school teachers for Culture and Mathematics: A design research project. In J. Pumwa (Ed.) Mathematics digest: Contemorary discussions in various fields with some mathematics – ICPAM-Lae (pp. 103-107). Lae, PNG: PNG University of Technology.
  • Owens, K. (2012). When less is more: Ideas for revising, introducing, and engaging students. In C. Attard & A. White (Eds.), Primary mathematis: The future starts today! (pp. 65-69). Sydney: The Mathematical Association of NSW. eBook
  • Owens, K., & Outhred, L. (2006). The complexity of learning geometry and measurement. In A. Gutierrez & P. Boero (Eds.) Handbook of research on the psychology of mathematics education: Past, present and future (pp. 83-115). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Earlier Top Publications

  • Owens, K. (2001). The work of Glendon Lean on the counting systems of Papua New Guinea and Oceania. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 13(1), 47-71.
  • Owens, K. & Clements, M. A. (1998). Representations used in spatial problem solving in the classroom. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 17 (2), 197-218.
  • Owens, K., & Outhred, L. (1998). Primary school students' visualising and understanding of tiling areas of different shapes. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 10 (3), 28-41.
  • Owens, K., Perry, B., Conroy, J., Geoghegan, N., & Howe, P. (1998). Responsiveness and affective processes in the interactive construction of understanding in mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 35(2), 105-127.

Recent Refereed Conference Presentations

  • Kravia, G., & Owens, K. (2014). Design research for professional learning for Cultural Mathematics. MERGA37: Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice (Sydney conference). Mathematics Education Group of Australasia. Adelaide: MERGA.
  • Edmonds-Wathen, C., Sakopa, P., Owens, K., & Bino, V. (2014. July). Indigenous languages and mathematics in elementary schools. MERGA37: Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice (Sydney conference). Mathematics Education Group of Australasia. Adelaide: MERGA.
  • Edmonds-Wathen, C., Owens, K., Sakopa, P., & Bino, V. (2014, July). Improving the teaching of mathematics in elementary schools by using local languages and cultural practices, poster paper for PME33 conference of International Group for Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Bino, V., & Owens, K. (2013, Nov.). Using technology for elementary teachers' professional development for teaching Cultural Mathematics. Paper presented at the International Conference on Pure and Applied Mathematics, Lae, Papua New Guinea.
  • Kravia, G., & Owens, K. (2013, Nov.). Design Based Research in Mathematics Education: An Example from PNG in Ethnomathematics. Paper presented at the International Conference on Pure and Applied Mathematics, Lae, Papua New Guinea.
  • Sakopa, P., & Owens, K. (2013, Nov.) Improving the teaching of mathematics in elementary schools by using  local languages and cultural practices. Paper presented at the International Conference on Pure and Applied Mathematics, Lae, Papua New Guinea.
  • Owens, K. (2013, June). Language and mathematics in elementary schools. Paper presented at Language and Literacy Workshop, AusAID, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
  • Owens, K. (2012, July). Ethnomathematics in resettled Indigenous communities whose language and children were once alienated, Topic Study Group 36 Ethnomathematics. International Congress for Mathematics Education 12, Korea.
  • Owens, K. (2012, July). Mathematics and Papua New Guinea bilum making (string bag designs). Poster paper related to Topic Group 36, International Congress for Mathematics Education 12, Korea.
  • Owens, K. (2012, July). Identity and ethnomathematics projects in Papua New Guinea. Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Singapore.
  • Owens, K. (2011, Dec.). The affordances of wikis for enabling group work by pre-service teachers. Technology and Teaching Practice Research Group 2011 Symposium, CSU, Wagga Wagga.  (abstract refereed)
  • Owens, K. (2011). A Stronger Smarter Learning Community in a rural city, NSW, Australia. In J. Wright (Ed.) Proceedings of  Australian Association for Research in Education, Hobart, Tasmania. (abstract refereed).
  • Owens, K., Auld, G., Pietsch, M., & Wood, D. (2011). Studying teaching: Representative episodes in a Practice-referenced teacher education program. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education, Hobart, Tasmania. (abstract refereed).
  • Owens, K. (2010). Policy and practices: Indigenous voices in education. International Conference on Ethnomathematics 4 ICEm4  presentation 
  • Owens, K. (2010). Changing our perspective on space: Place mathematics as a human endeavour. In L. Sparrow, B. Kissane, C. Hurst (eds.), MERGA 33-2010, Shaping the future of mathematics education (pp. 470-477). Adelaide: MERGA
  • Owens, K., & Kaleva, W. (2008). Case studies of mathematical thinking about area in Papua New Guinea. In O. Figueras, J. L. Cortina, S. Alatorre, T. Rojano, & A. Sep'lveda (eds.), Proceedings of the annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) and North America chapter of PME, PME32 - PMENAXXX (Vol. 4, pp. 73-80). Morelia, Mexico: Organising Committee of PME32-PMENAXXX.
  • Owens, K., & Kaleva, W. (2008). Indigenous Papua New Guinea knowledges related to volume and mass. Paper for the International Congress on Mathematics Education, Discussion Group 11 on The Role of Ethnomathematics in Mathematics Education. http://dg.icme11.org/document/get/311
  • Owens, K. (2008). Diversity of approaches to mathematics education in a cultural context. In Proceedings of the conference of the International Study Group on the Relations between History and Pedagogy of Mathematics, HPM2008. Mexico City, Organising Committee. CD
  • Owens, K. (2007). Changing our perspective on measurement: A cultural case study. In J. Watson & K. Beswick (Eds.) Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp.563-573). Sydney: MERGA.
  • Owens, K. (2007). The realities of intellectual quality in mathematics classrooms. In K. Milton & H. Reeves (Eds.) Proceedings of the biennial conference of Australian Association of Mathematics (pp. 211-220). Adelaide, SA: AAMT.

Reports

  • Owens, K. (on behalf of workshop participants) (2013, July). Report on reading materials for elementary schools. Elementary English Language teaching and learning materials review and specification workshop. Report for PNG National Department of Education.
  • Owens, K., & McKay, G. (2011). Stronger Smarter Learning Community Glenroi Heights Hub, Orange, Western NSW. Report to Stronger Smarter Institute.
  • Reid, J., & Owens, K. (with Bennet, M., & Coombe, K., & Hill, Y.) (2005). Report on the Bidialectal approach to writing Standard Australian English, 2004 Aboriginal Programs Unit, NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Owens, K. (2004). Report on the Bidialectal Project 2003. Aboriginal Programs Unit, NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Owens, K. (2002). Report on Count Me Into Space implemented in 2001 by two groups of schools with facilitators from the schools. For Department of Education and Training Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate.
  • Owens, K., & Perry, B. (2001). Mathematics K-10 Literature Review for NSW Board of Studies. http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ in Reading Room.
  • Clarkson, P., Hamadi, T., Kaleva, W., Owens, K., & Toomey, R. (2003). Final Report. PNG-Australia Development Cooperation Program. Baseline Survey: Interpretative Evaluation Report of the Primary and Secondary Teacher Education Project.
  • Owens, K. (2001). Development of the test: Thinking about 3D Shapes. Report to NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Owens, K. (2001). Teachers' understanding of mathematics education for the space strand of primary schools. Report to NSW Department of Education and Training.

Earlier Important Refereed Publications

  • Owens, K. (2000 published in 2002) Traditional counting systems and their relevance for elementary schools in Papua New Guinea. PNG Journal of Education, 36(1 & 2), 62-72.
  • Lowrie, T., & Owens, K. (2000). Making connections with space and measurement. In K. Owens & J. Mousley (Eds.) Mathematics Education Research in Australasia 1996-1999 (pp. 181-194). Sydney: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.
  • Owens, K., Mitchelmore, M., Outhred, L., & Pegg, J. (1996). Space, geometry, measurement, and visualisation. In B. Atweh, K. Owens, & P. Sullivan (Eds.), Research in mathematics education in Australasia 1992-1995, (pp. 311-343). Sydney: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.
  • Owens, K. (1997). Classroom views of space. In B. Doig & J. Lokan (Eds.) Learning from children, Mathematics from a classroom perspective, ACER Research Monograph No. 52, (pp. 125-145.). Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.
  • Owens, K. (1996). Recent research and a critique of theories of early geometry learning: The case of the angle concept. Nordisk Matematikk Didaktikk-Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 4 (2/3), 85-106.
  • Owens, K. (1992). Spatial mathematics: A group test for primary school students. In M. Stephens & J. Izard (Eds.) Reshaping assessment practices: Assessment in the mathematical sciences under challenge, (pp. 333-354) Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

Teaching Ideas

  • Owens, K. (2006). Creating space. http://athene.riv.csu.edu.au/~kowens/creatingspaceit
  • Owens, K. (2004). Success in Numeracy Education. SINE Years 5-8 (Pilot Program) Measurement Tasks for Primary Schools for Catholic Education Office, Melbourne. http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~kowens/primary_measurement.pdf
  • Owens, K. (2009). The importance of fuzzy mathematics. Reflections, 34(1), 20-22.
  • Owens, K. (2006). The dangerous swing to rote learning. Reflections 31(1), 13-18.
  • Owens, K. (2006). Number systems - Examples from Papua New Guinea. Reflections, 31(1), 81-86.
  • Owens, K. (2005). Patterns on spreadsheets. Reflections, 30(4), 18-22.
  • Owens, K. (2003). Looking inside classrooms: Teachers engaging students, students being responsive, In M. Goos (eds), Mathematics - Making Waves, Proceedings of the biennial conference of Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, available as CD.
  • Owens, K (2003) Count Me Into Space - maximising mathematical inspiration and innovation, Reflections, 28 (1), 12-16.
  • Owens, K., Pattison, J., & Lewis, E. (2003). Organising maths trails. Reflections, 28(1), 27-30.
  • Angove, J., & Owens, K. (2003). Extending chance and data ideas, PAMphlet, 57.
  • Owens, K. (2002). Spatial thinking and paper folding. Reflections, 27(1), 56-58.
  • Owens, K. (1999). Investigating measurement, Reflections, 24(1), 68-69.  
  • Owens, K. (1999). Investigating string and rope. Square One, 9(3), 2-5.
  • Owens, K. (1998). Investigating with paper. Reflections, 23(1), 62-67.
  • Owens, K. (1997). Mathematics with a sheet of paper. PAMphlet 38, Mathematical Association of New South Wales. 
  • Owens, K. (1997). Fascinating pasts and futures and their mathematics. Reflections, 22(1), 62-67.
  • Owens, K. (1996). Number sense with fractions. Square One, 4(3), 9-15.

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