Who am I


I live in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, having retired from working at the University of Nottingham in September 2017. I have been a socialist for 50 years, joining the Labour Party in June 1994. I fully supported the shift in the Party that lead to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as party leader.

I spent all my professional working life within the professional field of education – firstly as a mathematics teacher and advisor in the UK and Africa and then as mathematics educator in three UK Universities. More recently I have gravitated to become more rooted within a research environment in the sociology of education especially in the area of social disadvantage. Much of my professional work in Higher Education over 25 years has been directly related to teacher education, teacher professional development and equity and social justice – most notably within the area of mathematics education. Through my direct work with students, teachers and schools, as well as through my work as an external examiner for a number of initial teacher training providers and as a referee for several academic journals, I have developed a broad and eclectic vision of issues in teacher education, and an understanding of structural models for providing an effective context for new teachers to develop their pedagogical expertise

Professional Background

I worked at the University of Nottingham between 1993 and 2017. For 10 years I taught social research methodology to masters and doctoral students and practice-based inquiry to teachers. Prior to this I taught on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education for prospective teachers of mathematics for many years. Prior to coming to Nottingham, I worked at the School of Education in Bath University (1990-1993) and the Open University (1988-1990). Before moving into higher education I worked as a Mathematics teacher in London (1976-1977; 1980-1983) and Milton Keynes (1983-1988)  and was a teacher and Regional Educational Advisor in Moçambique (1978-1980).

Academic activity

Although I began my career within the field of mathematics education, my research activity  is located within more generic social research deliberately focussed within a local Nottingham context. This has been important for me because of my commitment to research that makes a difference to people’s lives. As a result I have built up wide networks with external agencies in the region and now am in the situation of having frequent requests to engage in further research.

My work in the field of mathematics education where I do have an international recognition. My current research interests are in the areas of vocational mathematics, visualisation and pedagogical strategies, equity in mathematics education.
In my teaching, I have worked from undergraduate through professional to doctorate level, offering courses to aspiring and established teachers as well as other professionals working as teacher educators themselves. In my research supervision, I have worked at M.Phil., Ed.D. and Ph.D. levels with researchers from the U.K. and many other countries in teacher education and development, language and teaching, subject knowledge of primary teachers, child labour, education and employment.

A considerable focus of my early research was in developing our understanding of the structure of teachers’ professional knowledge by developing eclectic models of teacher values and beliefs that incorporate sociological and psychological perspectives. This approach offers us some fresh insights into the barriers to professional growth and teacher change. My more recent research and writing has focussed more upon the social implications of mathematics and mathematics education as well as moving more broadly to issues of equity and social justice in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Administrative activity

I was for many years Director of Research Studies in the School of Education at Nottingham – one of the four Executive Directors in the School. This placed me in a management role in the School, and as a member of the Executive Management Group of the School, I had responsibilities over the management and strategic development of the School. Specifically, as Director of Research Studies I was required to manage the strategic development of our higher degrees programme and prepare our submission for ESRC accreditation as well as for our 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. One of my key strategies was to integrate more closely our research degree programmes with the research priorities of the School, and to provide, in the face of competing priorities, high quality facilities and conditions for our research students as well as structurally and strategically integrating research training and education within a dynamic research culture. I relinquished this post in 2009.

I also have had overall responsibility for research training and for supervisor training and the examination of research students within the School of Education. I developed a strategy designing a greater proportion of our research training through on-line learning, not just to facilitate more targeted material, but also to provide greater opportunities for our part-time students to benefit from high quality training. This e-strategy is also a feature in a new Masters level course I developed for new teachers. This was an innovative course, which creates a seamless transition from initial training through induction to early professional development and beyond.
In addition to all the previous work in the School of Education, in my time here I have been elected by academic staff to serve as staff representative on the University Senate, and this provided me with experience of the organisation and administration at a broader University level.

I am currently a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and have undertaken reviews for the Irish Research Council

International Activity

Over the years, I have played a national role in mathematics education, through my membership of the Executive Committee of the British Society for Research into the Learning of Mathematics. In addition, I have achieved international recognition through my election in 2001 to the International Committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (IGPME) – no mean feat for someone who considers himself more of a sociologist than a psychologist. PME is the major international research forum in mathematics education. In 2003 I became the Vice President of PME and in 2004 as a result of the president’s serious car accident I became the acting President of PME. This, along with my work in the Mathematics Education and Society Group, as a member if it’s International Committee, illustrates my involvement in research activity at an international level.

I have a passionate commitment to improving the educational experience and opportunities of those children who seem to be disadvantaged by the present social and educational systems. My own early employment history consistently placed me in areas where one common feature was the challenge of working with pupils and parents who achieved less that they seem capable of, and who felt powerless to do much about it. I have worked as a teacher in Dagenham, East London in Beira, Mozambique and in Milton Keynes and each of these environments has provided me with particular challenges in this respect.

My recent research has focussed on the immediate locality in which I live and work – namely the city of Nottingham. My research over the past 6 years has had considerable influence and impact on local policy in the areas of widening participation, teenage pregnancy, access to higher education, the structure of further education, and in early intervention. Teaching and research for me has to be about making the world a better and a fairer place for all.





Jurdak, Murad; Vithal, Renuka; de Freitas, Elizabeth; Gates, Peter and Kollosche, David (2016) Social and Political Dimensions of Mathematics Education: Current Thinking, ICME-13 Topical Survey, Dorecht, Springer.

Gates, P. and Jorgensen, R. (2014) (Eds) Shifts in the Field of Mathematics Education: Stephen Lerman and the Turn to the Social. Rotterdam: Springer.

Gates, Peter (2010) Beyond Belief: Understanding the mathematics teacher at work. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Publishers. ISBN 978-3-8383-5975-5

Gates, Peter (ed.) (2001) Issues in Mathematics Teaching, London, RoutledgeFalmer. ISBN 0-415-23864-1.

Book Chapters

Gates, Peter (2019) “Why the (social) class you are in still matters”, in Constantinos Xenofontos (Ed.) Equity in Mathematics Education. Addressing a Changing World. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, pps 41-64.

Gates, Peter (2017) “The Importance of Diagrams, Graphics and Other Visual Representations in STEM Teaching”, in Robyn Jorgensen and Kevin Larkin (eds) STEM Education in the Junior Secondary, Singapore: Springer, pps 169-196.

Gates, Peter (2014) Equity and Access in Mathematics Education. In S. Lerman, (ed) Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education, Springer, pp. 217-221 http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-007-4978-8_58.

Gates, P. and Noyes, A. (2013) School Mathematics as Social Classification. In D. Leslie and H. Mendick (eds) Debates In Mathematics Education. London, RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 38-48.

Gates, P. (2006) The Place of Equity and Social Justice in the History of PME, in Angel Gutierrez and Paolo Boero (Eds) Handbook of Research on the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Past, present and future, Rotterdam, Sense Publishers, pps 367-402. ISBN 90-77874-19-4.


Yong, Su-Ting; Karjanto, Natanael; Gates, Peter; Chan, Tak-Yee Andyand Khin, Than-Myint (2020) Let Us Rethink How to Teach Mathematics Using Gaming Principles, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology.

Yong, Su Ting, Gates, Peter, & Chan, Andy Tak-Yee (2018). A Gaming Perspective on Mathematics Education. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 14(4), 85-98.

Yong, Su Ting; Harrison, Ian Gates, Peter (2016) Digital Games and Learning Mathematics: Student, Teacher and Parent Perspectives. International Journal of Serious Games, Volume 3(4), 2384-8766 http://dx.doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v3i4.112

Yong, Su Ting; Harrison, Ian Gates, Peter (2016) Digital Games to Learn Mathematics – What students think. International Journal of Serious Games, Volume 3(2), 12-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v3i2.113.

Ahmad, Syed Munir and Gates, Peter (2016) ‘Education is Light; It takes you towards the path of light’: Parental perceptions about education and their children’s schooling in northern Pakistan, FWU Journal of Social Sciences, 10(2), 1-14.

Jorgensen, R., Gates, P., & Roper, V. (2014). Structural Exclusion through School Mathematics: Using Bourdieu to Understand Mathematics a Social Practice. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 87, 221–239. doi: 10.1007/s10649-013-9468-4

Gates, P. and Abdul Rahim, S. (2014) Culture and disadvantage in Mathematics. In P. Barnby (ed) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 34(1), 49-54.

Gates, P. and Guo, X. (2014) How British-Chinese parents support their children: a view from the regions, Educational Review 66(2) 168-191, DOI:10.1080/00131911.2013.768958.

Yong, Su-Ting and Gates, Peter (2014) ” Born Digital: Are They Really Digital Natives?,” International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 4(2), 102-105.

Kington, A., Gates, P. and Sammons, P. (2013) Development of social relationships, interactions and behaviours in early education setting. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 11(23), 292-311, ISSN 1476-718X

Ferguson, H. and Gates, P. (2013) Early intervention and holistic, relationship-based practice with fathers: Evidence from the work of the Family Nurse Partnership, Child & Family Social Work 20(1), doi:10.1111/cfs.12059.

Gates, P. (2012): Mathematical relationships in education: identities and participation, Research in Mathematics Education, 14(1), 91-94. doi: 10.1080/14794802.2012.657442.

Hinsliff-Smith, K., Gates, P. and Leducq, M. (2012) “Persistence, how do they do it? A case study of Access to Higher Education learners on a Diploma/BSc Nursing Programme”. Nurse Education Today, 32(1), 27-31. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2011.01.015

Research Reports

Gates, Peter, Clapham, Andrew and Vickers, Robert (2017) East Meets West. Investigating How the East Midlands Mathematics Hubs Support Teachers’ Practice. Nottingham, Centre for Research in Mathematics Education.

Ferguson, H. and Gates, P. (2011) Informing Practice to Increase the Present, Involvement and Engagement of Fathers, Nottingham, University of Nottingham.

Gates, P., Ayoola, L. and Taylor, M. (2010) Understanding Teenage Fathers. Creating Futures, Building Families, Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

Gates, P., Kington, A and Sammons, P. (2010) An evaluation of the early years two year pilot scheme in the City of Nottingham, Nottingham, University of Nottingham.

Gates, P. (2009) Reviewing the Evidence for Early Intervention for Nottingham. CREDE, University of Nottingham.

Gates, P. (2009) The Achievement of Full Level 2 in the City of Nottingham, LSC, Nottinghamshire.

Gates, P. and Byrom, T. (2009) Understanding Teenage Pregnancy in Nottingham, Nottingham, CREDE University of Nottingham.

Gates, P. (with Byrom, T. and Reep, R.) (2009) Mapping Post-16 Provision in the Bulwell Academy, CREDE, University of Nottingham

Gates, P. (with Byrom, T. and Reep, R.) (2009) Mapping Post-16 Provision in the Nottingham University Samworth Academy, CREDE, University of Nottingham

Gates, P., with Brown, E., Clegg, C. and Din, S. (2008) Leadership in Adult Community Education: Political Decisions and the Development of Social Capital in Nottingham, Lancaster, Centre for Excellence in Leadership Lancaster University.

Raphael Read, L., Gates, P. and Last, K. (2007) Young Participation in Higher Education in the Parliamentary Constituencies of Birmingham Hodge Hill, Bristol South, Nottingham North and Sheffield Brightside, Cardiff, HEFCE.

Gates, P., Byrom, T. and Wheeler, A. (2007) The Location of Further Education and Young People’s Participation in Nottingham North, CREDE, University of Nottingham (for LSC).

Gates, P., Coward, S. and Byrom, T. (2006) Young Participation in Higher Education in the Parliamentary Constituency of Nottingham North, CREDE, University of Nottingham. (for HEFCE).

Conference Papers

Gates, P. (2015) Social Class And The Visual In Mathematics. In S. Mukhopadhyay and B. Greer (eds) Proceeding of the 8th International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Vol 2, 369-378, Portland State University.

Gates, P. (2014) Culture and disadvantage in learning mathematics. In S. Oesterle, P. Liljedahl, C. Nicol and D, Allan (Eds) Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol; 3, 137-144, University of British Colombia

Yong, S-T. and Gates, P. (2013) Born Digital: Are they really Digital Natives? Paper presented to 3rd Journal Conference on e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning (JC4E 2013 3rd), Jeju, Korea, 19 to 20 October.

Roper, V. and Gates, P. (2008) The Subtle but Pervasive Influence of Class and Home in Learning School Mathematics. In The first century of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (1908-2008). Reflecting and shaping the world of mathematics education. Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of ICMI. (Rome, 5–8 March 2008) http://www.unige.ch/math/EnsMath/Rome2008/WG3/Papers/GATES.pdf

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