Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 17-5-2011

Publisher Name

University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Helping students to overcome the challenges of learning mathematics has earned Notre Dame academic, Dr Keith McNaught, recognition from Western Australia’s Perth Convention Bureau.

Dr McNaught was bestowed a Professional Development Award worth $5000 during a breakfast held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 11 May.

The awards are presented annually to academics in each of Western Australia’s five universities through the Perth Convention Bureau’s Professional Development Awards program to generate convention business within the State.

Dr McNaught, who is particularly interested in assisting mature age and disadvantaged students, is the Director of Notre Dame’s Academic Enabling and Support Centre (AESC) on the Fremantle Campus.

He plans to use the award to attend the 18th International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics in Dublin later this year and their 19th International Conference in New Zealand in 2012.

Adults Learning Mathematics is an international research forum that encourages the life-long learning of mathematics by adults for their professional and personal development.

Dr McNaught said he hoped to expand his knowledge on the psychology of mathematics to reduce the attrition rates of students who lacked academic literacy.

He also hopes to identify potential speakers who may present on brain-based research and the psychology of mathematics at a conference which could be hosted in Western Australia.

“The conferences provide academics and researchers working with adults in mathematics an opportunity to network and share ideas in strategies to retain students and improve their learning capabilities,” Dr McNaught said.

“Helping a student with mathematics, for a wide range of reasons, is not solved by a short course, but through ongoing and spaced learning.

“Virtually all university courses require mathematical understanding and many students underestimate the covert mathematics of data handling, statistics, reading research, problem solving, analytical thinking and basic calculations.”

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Jan Thomas, congratulated Dr McNaught on his achievements.

“Keith’s role in providing an excellent standard of academic support for our students is critical in the continuing provision of our excellent learning environment and the high quality of our graduates,” Professor Thomas said.

“He is a very worthy recipient of The University of Notre Dame Australia Professional Development Award.”

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093