Professor Pat Drake

Professor Pat Drake

EdD (University of Sussex), MA (University of London), Post-grad Diploma in Statistics (London School of Economics and Political Science), Post-graduate Certificate in Education (University of London), BA Mathematics (University of Essex)

Professor, STEM Education Strategic Initiatives

In deciding to foreground Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education VU is taking a bold step in providing more opportunity and pathways to students. Understanding and addressing challenges facing the world needs to bring together different forms inquiry: scientific as well as social, mathematical as well as artistic and humanitarian. Learn more about the VU STEM agenda.

An experienced teacher educator, Pat’s interests lie in supporting research and teaching in practice. Originally a mathematics teacher and a trained statistician, Pat veered towards social science when small-scale projects about what people do in practice thwarted the use of statistical techniques. Pat’s sample sizes decreased to the extent that she has written about experience in the first person, having developed a perspective on authorial responsibility to make meaning, especially of voices not otherwise represented.

Pat joined VU as Dean of Education in March 2012 from an academic post in at the University of Sussex, England where she was an active researcher and university teacher in mathematics education, teacher education and doctoral education. Since coming to Australia she represented Australian Council of Deans of Education on the Expert Numeracy Group of the Australian Council for Education Research and she has served on the Victoria Institute of Teaching Accreditation Committee.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Pat Drake (2015) Becoming known through email: a case of woman, leadership, and an awfully familiar strange land. Gender and Education. 27 (2) 158-163

Noyes, A., Wake, G. & Drake, P. (2013) Time for curriculum reform: the case of mathematics, The Curriculum Journal, 24 (4) 511-528

Drake, P., Wake, G. & Noyes, A. (2012) Assessing 'functionality' in school mathematics examinations: what does being human have to do with it? Research in Mathematics Education. 14 (3) 237 – 252

Noyes, A., Wake, G. & Drake, P. (2011) Widening and Increasing post-16 Mathematics Participation: Pathways, pedagogies and politics. International Journal of Science and Mathematical Education, 9 (2) 483 – 501.

Drake, P. (2010) Grasping at methodological understanding: a cautionary tale from insider research. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 33 (1) 85 – 99.


Wake, G., Williams, J., & Drake, P. (eds.) (2011) Research in Mathematics Education Special Edition, 13 (2) Taylor & Francis.

Drake, P. with Heath, L. (2010) Practitioner Research at Doctoral Level: developing coherent methodologies. London: Routledge.

Drake, P., Jacklin, A., Robinson, C. & Thorp, J. (2004)Becoming a teaching assistant: a research based guide for teaching assistants and those working with them. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

Refereed chapters

Drake, P. (2011) Initial Teacher Education: could have been rural whimsy. In F. Gray ed. Making the future: a history of the University of Sussex. London: Continuum Press.

Drake, P. (2009) Mathematics for teaching: what makes us want to? In L. Black, H. Mendick & Y. Solomon eds. Mathematical Relationships in Education: Identities and Participation. London: Routledge. 161 – 172.

Major reports

Noyes, A., Drake, P., Wake, G. & Murphy, R., (2010) Evaluating Mathematics Pathways DFE-RR143, Department of Education.

Keynote presentations

2011 The view from over here is different: relations between professional and doctoral knowledge. University of Nottingham EdD Conference.

2011 National Curriculum Review, National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics.

2011 Implications of doctoral work as a practitioner researcher, London Metropolitan University New Directions for Professional, Practice- based & Work-based Masters and Doctorates Workshop.

2011 Evaluating Mathematics Pathways, Joint Mathematics Council, Royal Society, London.

Teaching responsibilities

Postgraduate research students (completions): one DPhil Education, six EdD, one PhD.

Current supervision: one PhD

Undergraduate: Quantitative literacy; Multi-literacies; Bachelor of Education Social Pedagogy

Research grants

2007 – 2010 Evaluating Mathematics Pathways, jointly with the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester. Funded by QCDA, £175,000 (Sussex Principal Investigator)

2009 Mathematics teacher CPD in the South-East region. Funded by National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, £10,000 (Convenor and organiser)

2009 Teacher CPD in the South-East region. Funded by National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, £2,000 (Consultant)

2007 The future of mathematics and science: knowledge relationships and equitable participation. Marie Curie Chair funded by the European Union, £311,813 (Co-applicant with Professor Jo Boaler).


Areas of expertise

  • Doctoral Education
  • Educational experiences of women and girls
  • Insider research and participant methodologies
  • Mathematics education
  • Situated learning and learning at work
  • STEM initiatives and creative activities
  • Teacher education, particularly pre-service teacher education
Pat Drake

Contact details

+61 3 9919 2609