Oliver Lovell

Head of Senior Mathematics
Speaking at


First year as Senior Maths HoD: How evidence informed can I make it?

The worked example effect, testing effect, cognitive load theory, and distributed practice. Many of us are familiar with these and other key findings from education (and broader) research that can guide effective instruction, but what does a teaching program that incorporates these findings actually look like? More importantly, in light of the research highlighting barriers to the efficacy of PD (see: http://tiny.cc/hfwonpd) how can a subject area leader (in this case, mathematics) drive meaningful, evidence informed change in a school department in a short period of time? This presentation will highlight the efforts of one such leader, in his first 6 months in the new role, in order to make some inroads to answering these challenging questions.


A key inspiration in Ollie’s route to teaching was a new joy of learning awakened through the challenge of trying to learn Mandarin. This learning project exposed him to the science of learning, which has since become the basis of his approach to teaching, also prompting the Education Research Reading Room podcast. Ollie is currently enjoying his new role as Head of Senior Mathematics at a public school, on the lands of the Kulin nation, in Melbourne’s West. He is the Early Career Representative for the Victorian branch of the Australian College of Educators, and blogs at www.ollielovell.com