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Dr Alf Coles

Dr Alf Coles

Dr Alf Coles
MA(Oxon.), PGCE(Cantab.), MEd(Bristol), PhD

Reader in Mathematics Education

Office 207
Helen Wodehouse Building,
35 Berkeley Square, Clifton BS8 1JA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 33 14168


Teacher development; ways of working with video; listening and hearing in the mathematics classroom; early number; creativity in the classroom; metacognition.


Alf Coles came to the University after fifteen years' experience in secondary schools teaching mathematics, running a maths department and latterly as an assistant headteacher.  His PhD study was centred around the role of discussion in learning mathematics and amongst teachers learning to teach mathematics via discussion of video recordings of lessons.

Alf is currently working on a project in three primary schools, funded (until August 2013) by The Rayne Foundation. This project is a collaboration with the charity "5x5x5=creativity" and is focused on tackling underachivement in primary mathematics through creativity.

Alf has previously been involved in research projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Teacher Development Agency, the National Council for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and BECTA.  Find resources created as a result of the BECTA exploration space grant.

Alf teaches on the Graduate School's Post Graduate Certificate of Education course for secondary mathematics, masters' programme and supervises doctoral students.


Alf teaches on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education course, Masters' programmes and supervises doctoral students.


  • Listening and hearing in the mathematics classroom
  • the development of classroom cultures
  • teacher development
  • ways of working with video
  • metacognition.


  • British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM) International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) Member of the Outer Circle of the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)



School of Education

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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