Six transformative podcast conversations (and a bonus one)

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Making a podcast helped me develop an even greater appreciation for the thought and care that goes into creating careful and precise public conversations about maths teaching and learning.

What follows is a list of six podcast episodes that I’ve enjoyed and found particularly valuable for their unique insights, practical ideas and transformative potential.

Each episode in this collection interviews a widely respected guest, each of whom brings years of rich and extensive experience and expertise to conversations about the kinds of maths experiences that everyone, everywhere, can have access to. 

These conversations are relevant for maths educators of all levels, school leaders, policy-makers and anyone interested in mathematics and education. 

Featured Guests:  Dr Sarah Buckley, Professor Gary Stager, Dr Helen Williams, Professor Chris Matthews, Professor Francis Su and Professor Jo Boaler


1. Empowering parents and partnering to create positive maths experiences 

Podcast: Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership

Podcast episode: Partnering with parents - how to talk about mathematics with Dr Sarah Buckley

Host: Ben Allen

Guest: Dr Sarah Buckley, Australian Council for Education Research

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Positive maths talk - what it is and why it’s important
  • Damaging myths that exist about learning mathematics 
  • Ideas for supporting family adults (e.g. parents) with mathematics and why this is important

Duration: 29.17

Listen here


2. Unlocking children’s mathematical potential 

Podcast: Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership

Podcast episode: Dr Gary Stager on unlocking children’s mathematics potential 

Hosts: Emma Moore

Guest: Professor Gary Stager  

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Important considerations about ‘choice and voice’ for students and educators
  • Critical ideas about assessment and retention of maths concepts
  • The concept of ‘Hard Fun’
  • Experiences that allow learners (of all ages) to think, solve problems and learn what they love

Duration: 45.20

Listen here


3. Playful mathematics 

Podcast: Mathematics Teaching

Podcast episode: MT283: Playful Mathematics

Host: Tony Cotton, Association of Teachers of Mathematics

Guest: Dr Helen Williams

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Helen’s perspectives on humane mathematics
  • Using children’s play to shape mathematics lessons
  • Important ideas applicable to older children as well as younger children

Duration: 28.19

Listen here


4. Making a connection to culture

Podcast: The Random Sample

Podcast episode: Making a Connection to Culture

Host: Professor Louise Ryan

Guest: Professor Chris Matthews, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Chris’ insights and perspectives on mathematical success
  • Misconceptions about culture, mathematics and learning
  • Chris’ explanations of kinship systems and other aspects of culture that are deeply mathematical

Duration: 39.41

Listen here


5. Limitless learning

Podcast: Future Learning Design Podcast

Podcast episode: On Limitless Learning - A Conversation with Professor Jo Boaler

Host: Tim Logan

Guest: Professor Jo Boaler, Stanford University

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Explanations about what mathematical rigour is
  • Stories and evidence to bust damaging ideas about mathematics and mathematical success 
  • Transformative ideas from neuroscience about learning (in any subject, not just maths) 

Duration: 49.19

Listen here


6. The beauty and humanity of mathematics

Podcast: Teach

Podcast episode: The beauty and humanity of mathematics with Professor Francis Su

Host: Dale Atkinson, South Australia's Department for Education

Guest: Professor Francis Su, Harvey Mudd College

Highlights for us in this podcast episode:

  • Francis Su shares a problem and a beautiful pattern that drew him into mathematics
  • A description of mathematical play - what it is and isn’t 
  • What the world needs and doesn’t need in mathematics

Duration: 13.47

Listen here


Bonus. Constructing Modern Knowledge 

This was a last minute addition to this list after listening to it yesterday. Wondering how one might learn 100+ concepts in a matter of days all while offering a powerful, transformative learning experience for teachers? And through them, the students they serve? This one is an unmissable conversation. 

Podcast: Wonderful Idea Co. X The Constructing Modern Knowledge Podcast

Podcast episode: Tinkering 15 for 15

Host: Ryan Jenkins, Wonderful Idea Co. Podcast

  Guest: Professor Gary Stager, The Constructing Modern Knowledge Institute

Duration: 33.58

Listen here


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