"It is widely believed that studying mathematics at advanced levels develops generic "thinking skills" which are useful in many domains of life. Claims to this effect are often cited during debates surrounding curriculum reforms, but there is little robust evidence that speaks to whether, and to what extent, such claims are true.
My research aims to understand thinking skills that might be developed by studying post-compulsory mathematics, with a focus on mathematical and non-mathematical ways of engaging with logical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving tasks. In particular, I am investigating the mechanisms that underlie such skills, and whether these skills develop in different ways and at different rates for those who do and do not study mathematics post-16.
The outcomes of my research will help to inform debates surrounding the extent and nature of the post-16 school curriculum."