Prof Tony Croft
Professor of Mathematics Education
Tel +44 (0)1509 22 3185
Location SCH.m.09 (Schofield Building)
Tony studied for his first degree in Mathematics at Leeds University, graduating with First Class Honours in 1981. He then undertook research work there in Geophysical Fluid Mechanics leading to the award of M.Phil in 1984. He taught mathematics at Peel VIth form College in Bury before joining the staff of Crewe+Alsager College of Higher Education. During that time he was a part-time student at Keele University and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1990 for research work in numerical analysis. From 1988 he taught in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University, Leicester). In 1996 he moved to Loughborough University to establish and manage its Mathematics Learning Support Centre. Since then he has devoted much of his time and effort to developing resources and student support mechanisms that are now in use in many universities throughout the UK and beyond.
In 2002 he became Director of the newly formed Mathematics Education Centre. In 2005 the Centre (in collaboration with the Mathematics Support Centre at Coventry University) was awarded Centre for Excellence status by HEFCE in an initiative known as sigma - the Centre for Excellence in University-Wide Provision of Mathematics & Statistics Support. Tony is one of the two Directors of sigma. In 2008 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of mathematics support for students. sigma has since evolved into the sigma network for excellence in mathematics and statistics support. With funding from HEFCE for the period 2013-2016 the network is now a thriving community of like-minded professionals all keen to better the support and resources provided for students of all disciplines who need to study mathematics or statistics whilst at University. The resource base for the network is freely available and open to all students and staff at www.mathcentre.ac.uk.
Tony has worked with Janette Matthews and Clare Trott on the development of a MOOC (Massive Open On-Line Course) for the Future Learn platform. The MOOC – Getting a Grip on Mathematical Symbolism is designed for those students who aspire to study engineering or science at University and who need to develop a strong foundation in basic mathematical methods. It ran successfully in April and September 2014 and 2015 and a fifth presentation starts on March 2016. You can learn more about the rationale for the course by reading Tony’s FutureLearn blog here. Register here.
Tony's research is focussed upon mathematics education in the higher education sector. Much of this work has been concerned with students making the transition to university-level mathematics and the support required to help them succeed. More recently he has become interested in other points of transition, where students experience difficulty applying or developing their mathematical knowledge, or adapting to changed learning methods and processes during their higher education studies. He has led and researched the SYMBoL project (http://sym.lboro.ac.uk) - an initiative designed to improve the experience of second year undergraduate mathematicians by engaging students themselves in aspects of the design and delivery of modules.
Areas of particular interest include:
- learning support centres and the development of effective learning environments.
- mathematics support beyond the transition to university.
- mathematical identity of undergraduates and the way this is shaped by their university experience.
- student engagement and furthering the engagement agenda.
- Tony is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA) and a Chartered Mathematician (C.Math).
Tony Croft is one of the Directors of mathcentre. This is a project which aims to provide all universities and students entering them with resources which might help ease the transition from school mathematics to university mathematics. All resources generated by this project are freely available.
Tony was a Director of the sigma Centre for Excellence in University-wide Provision of Mathematics and Statistics Support (2005-2010) and has been a Director of the sigma network since 2010.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tmes20/current).