Research Staff Interests

Prof Yvette  Solomon


Yvette is Professor of Education, and joined MMU in 2009 from Lancaster University, where she was Reader in Educational Research. She co-leads the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Science Education with Tony Brown.

She gained her PhD at Lancaster in 1986, focusing on Piaget's theory of number development, published by Routledge as The Practice of Mathematics in 1989. Originally a psychology graduate, she took a part-time degree in mathematics and statistics with the Open University which she completed in 2007.

From 1991 to 1994 Yvette was Research Psychologist and Senior Research Psychologist at the Trust for the Study of Adolescence in Brighton, where she worked on a number of projects involving young people, following this interest up with a major investigation of family relationships in Rochdale between 1996 and 2000 - Fathers, Work and Family Life and Family Understandings: closeness, authority and independence in families with teenagers, both published by the Family Policy Studies Centre.

She has held the position of Professor 2 in Mathematics Education at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, since 2011.

Research Interests

Research in mathematics teaching and learning

Yvette is interested in the construction of knowledge and learner identities in formal and informal settings and she has a major interest in the development of mathematical understanding and mathematics teaching. Her first book, The Practice of Mathematics (1989), developed an account of learning mathematics as entering into a social practice, challenging the dominance of Piaget's conception of logical development in the area. Her second book, Mathematical Literacy (2008), explores the social practice of mathematics further, focussing on the development of 'mathematics identities' and covering the experience of learners from primary school to undergraduate level. She co-organised an ESRC-funded seminar series Mathematical Relationships: Identities and Participation in 2006-2007, and co-edited the book based on this series Mathematical Relationships in Education (2009).

Much of her work is concerned with women in mathematics and she has written widely on this topic. She is also working with mathematics teacher educators at MMU to investigate the impact of approaches based in Realistic Mathematics Education on post-16 GCSE resit students’ learning and engagement with mathematics. She has held the position of Professor 2 in Mathematics Education at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo since 2011, where she leads a major project on the student experience of mathematics teaching practice, and supports a range of research on teacher education.

Research in science learning and medical education

Yvette's interest in the development of learner identities and in socio-cultural theory has led her into the area of STEM learning in general, with a focus on enquiry-, problem- and practice-based learning. Recent projects have included the FP7 ENGINEER project, developing enquiry-based engineering design units for primary age children as support for science learning. She also researches in the area of medical education with colleagues at Maastricht University, University College Cork and Queen's, Belfast, focusing on peer assisted learning, the development of doctor identities and female participation in surgical training.

Research Groups

STEM Education Research

Research Projects

€172,953 from National Council for Special Education, Ireland, Initial Teacher Education for Inclusion, 2015- [Hick & Solomon]

£82,202 from the Nuffield Foundation, Investigating the impact of a Realistic Mathematics Education approach on achievement and attitudes in Post-16 GCSE resit classes, 2014-2015 [Hough & Solomon]

£63,000 from HEFCE, Investigating the expectations and attitudes towards postgraduate taught (PGT) STEM study, and post study outcomes from the perspective of students’, universities and employers to support and sustain PGT growth in the UK, 2014-15

NOK 1,003,000 from the Norwegian Research Council to research students' experiences of teaching practice ('Matematikk i praksisopplæringen')

€218,913 from EU FP7, to develop engineering design challenges based in enquiry learning for ENGINEER ( BrEaking New Ground IN the SciencE Education Realm) September 2011-2014 [Heywood and Solomon]

£14,792 from ESRC for the seminar series Mathematical Relationships: Identities and Participation (RES-451-25-4267) September 2006-July 2007 [grant holders: Mendick, Black, Solomon, Rodd & Brown]

£100,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to study 'Fathers, Work and Family Life' 1995-1999 [grant holders: Lewis, Penn & Solomon]

£30,649 from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to study 'Family Ideals' 1999-2000 [grant holders: Lewis, Solomon, Warin & Langford]


Farnsworth, V. and Solomon, Y. (eds) (2013) Reframing Educational Research: resisting the "what works" agenda. London: Routledge

Black L., Mendick, H. & Solomon, Y. (eds) (2009) Mathematical Relationships in Education: identities and participation. New York & London: Routledge

Solomon, Y. (2008) Mathematical Literacy: developing identities of inclusion. New York & London: Routledge

Solomon, Y. (1989) The Practice of of Mathematics. London: Routledge

Refereed Journal Articles

Bennett, D. Solomon, Y., Bergin, C., Horgan, M. & Dornan, T. (2017) Possibility and agency in Figured Worlds: Becoming a 'good doctor'. Medical Education 51(3) pp 248-257

Solomon, Y., Erikson, E, Smestad, B., Rodal, C., & Bjerke, A. (2017) Prospective teachers navigating intersecting communities of practice: early school placement. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 20(2) pp 141-158

Brown, T., Solomon, Y., & Williams, J. (2016) Theory in and for mathematics education: in pursuit of a critical agenda. Educational Studies in Mathematics 92(3) pp 287-297

Solomon, Y., Radovic, D., & Black, L. (2016) "I can actually be very feminine here": contradiction and hybridity in becoming a female mathematician. Educational Studies in Mathematics 91(1) pp 55-71

Solomon, Y. & Lewin, C. (2016) Measuring 'progress': performativity as both driver and constraint in school innovation. Journal of Education Policy 31(2) pp 226-238

Solomon, Y. & Croft, T. (2016) Understanding undergraduate disengagement from mathematics: addressing alienation. International Journal of Educational Research 79 pp 267-276

Hill, E., Solomon, Y., Dornan, T. & Stalmeijer, R. (2015) "You become a man in a man's world": is there discursive space for women in surgery? Medical Education 49(12) pp 1207-1218

Braathe, H.J. & Solomon, Y. (2015) Choosing mathematics: the narrative of the self as a site of agency. Educational Studies in Mathematics 89(2) pp 151-166

Solomon, Y., Croft, T., Duah, F. & Lawson, D. (2014) Reshaping understandings of teaching-learning relationships in undergraduate mathematics: an activity theory analysis. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 3(4) pp 323-333

Hill, E., Bowman, K., Stalmeijer, R., Solomon, Y. & Dornan, T. (2014) Can I cut it? Medical students' perceptions of surgeons and surgical careers. The American Journal of Surgery 208(5) pp 860-7

Lewin, C. & Solomon, Y. (2013) Silencing the School Bell? Reflecting on one school's transformational journey. International Review of Qualitative Research 6(3) pp 376–394

Barnes, Y. & Solomon, Y. (2013) The Discipline of Noticing as a Path to Understanding: researching from the inside. International Review of Qualitative Research 6(3) pp 360–375

Senior, K. & Solomon, Y. (2013) Orbiting data: inciting centrifugal questions about embodied learning in science. Cultural Studies <=>Critical Methodologies August 2013: 13(4) pp 279-288

Brown, T., Heywood, D., Solomon, Y. & Zagorianakos, A. (2012) Experiencing the space we share: rethinking subjectivity and objectivity. ZDM

Carvalho, C. & Solomon, Y. (2012) Supporting statistical literacy: What do culturally relevant/realistic tasks show us about the nature of pupil engagement with statistics? International Journal of Educational Research

Solomon, Y. (2012) Finding a voice? Narrating the female self in mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics 80(1-2) pp171-183

Goodband, J., Solomon, Y., Samuels, P., Lawson, D. & Bhakta, R. (2012) Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics Facebook community. Learning, Media and Technology 37(3) pp1-17

Solomon, Y., Lawson, D. & Croft, A. (2011) Dealing with "fragile identities": resistance and refiguring in women mathematics students. Gender and Education 23(5) pp565-583

Solomon, Y., Croft, A. & Lawson, D. (2010) Safety in numbers: mathematics support centres and their derivatives as social learning spaces. Studies in Higher Education 35(4) pp421-431

Solomon, Y. (2007) Experiencing mathematics classes: Ability grouping, gender and the selective development of participative identities. International Journal of Educational Research 46(1-2) pp8-19

Solomon, Y. (2007) Not belonging? What makes a functional learner identity in the undergraduate mathematics? Studies in Higher Education 32(1) pp79-96

Warin, J, Solomon, Y. & Lewis, C. (2007) Swapping stories, comparing plots: Triangulating Individual Narratives within Families. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 10(2) pp121-134

Solomon, Y. (2006) Deficit or difference? The role of students' epistemologies of mathematics in their interactions with proof. Educational Studies in Mathematics 61(3) pp373-393

Solomon, Y., Warin, J., Langford, W. & Lewis, C. (2002) Intimate talk between parents and their teenage children: democratic openness or covert control? Sociology 36(4) pp965-983

Solomon, Y., Warin, J. & Lewis, C. (2002) Helping with homework? Homework as a site of tensions between parents and teenagers. British Educational Research Journal 28(4) pp603-622

Solomon, Y. & Rogers, C. (2001) Motivational Patterns in Disaffected School Students: insights from pupil referral unit clients. British Education Research Journal 27(3) pp331-345

Solomon, Y. (1998) Teaching mathematics: Ritual, principle and practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education 32(3) pp377-390

Solomon, Y. & O'Neill, J. (1998) Mathematics and narrative. Language and Education 12(3) pp210-221

Solomon, Y. & Farrand, J. (1996) "Why don't you do it properly?" Young women who self injure. Journal of Adolescence 19 pp111-119

Book Chapters

Dickinson, P., Eade, F., Gough, S. Hough, S. & Solomon, Y (2016) Implementing RME in England and the Cayman Islands – dealing with clashing educational ideologies, in Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen (ed) Reflections from abroad on the Netherlands Didactic Tradition in Mathematics Education Springer

Solomon, Y. (2015) From feedback to identity as a mathematics learner: a never-ending story, in C. Carvalho & J. Conboy (eds) School Feedback, Identity and Trajectories: Dynamics and Consequences Lisbon: Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology available from here

Barnes, Y. & Solomon, Y. (2013) 'Empowering teachers as learners: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes as sites for critical development in pedagogical practice' in O. MacNamara, J. Murray and M. Jones (eds) Teacher learning in the workplace: widening perspectives on practice and policy Springer

Barnes, Y., Cockerham, F., Hanley, U. & Solomon, Y. (2013) 'How do mathematics teaching enhancement programmes 'work'?' in V. Farnsworth and Y. Solomon (eds) Reframing Educational Research: Resisting the "What Works" Agenda. London; Routledge

Black L., Brown, M., Mendick, H., Rodd, M. and Solomon, Y. 'Pain, pleasure and power: selecting and assessing defended subjects' in L. Black, H. Mendick, & Y. Solomon (eds) (2009) Mathematical Relationships in Education: identities and participation. New York & London: Routledge

Solomon, Y. & Black, L. (2008) 'Talking to learn and learning to talk in the mathematics classroom' in N. Mercer and S. Hodgkinson (eds) Exploring Talk in School: Inspired by the Work of Douglas Barnes London: Sage

Solomon, Y. (2006) Schooling and literacy in B. Hopkins (ed) Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Child Development Cambridge: CUP

Other Publications

Solomon, Y., Croft, A. & Lawson, D. (2009) 'Making space for peer learning' in M. Peelo (ed) Maths and Quantitative Skills: Teaching Solutions Lancaster University

Chionidou, M., Solomon, Y., Tanzberger, R., Blunck, A.& Siemens, R. (eds) (2007) Proceedings of the PREMA workshop, Gender-Sensitivity and Pluralism in Mathematics Education Barcelona, January 25th/26th, University of Barcelona Press

Research Reports

Langford, W., Warin, J., Solomon, Y. & Lewis, C. (2001) Family Understandings London: Family Policy Studies Centre (Rochdale project, JRF)

Warin, J., Solomon, Y., Lewis, C. & Langford, W. (1999) Fathers, Work and Family Life London: Family Policy Studies Centre (Rochdale project, JRF)


link to eSpace publications

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

Solomon, Y (2016) 'Making space for women in mathematics: one woman's story.' Invited presentation to the International Organization of Women and Mathematics Education. 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Hamburg, 24-31 July 2016

Hough, S., Solomon, Y. , Dickinson, P. & Gough, S. (2016) 'Counteracting failure – using a Realistic Mathematics Education approach with examination retake students.' Invited presentation at the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education, Hamburg, 24-31 July 2016

Solomon, Y. (2016) 'Storying the self in forbidden spaces: women and mathematics.' British Educational Research Association Research Commission on STEAM education, Cambridge University, April

Solomon, Y. (2015) 'Storying the self in forbidden spaces: Using Holland and Bakhtin to explore identity and agency.' Keynote for Summer Institute in Qualitative Research, Manchester, July

Solomon, Y. (2015) 'From feedback to identity as a mathematics learner: the impact of school systems and discourses.' University of Lisbon, Portugal, May

Solomon, Y. (2014) 'What REALLY works? Bringing teaching and research together in mathematics.' Keynote talk for the Inspiring Mathematics CPD Conference, MMU, July

Solomon, Y. (2012) 'Defining ourselves as learners: identity and school trajectories.' University of Lisbon, Portugal, September

Solomon, Y. (2011) 'What do primary teachers take from mathematics enhancement programmes? Developing and maintaining agency in times of change.' Invited presentation to the ESRC seminar series Workplace Learning in Teacher Education, March

Solomon, Y. (2010) 'Students learning from each other - the impact of spaces for learning.' Invited address at the Mathematics, Statistics and OR Network conference, Mathematicians and Mathematics Educators: what can we learn from each other? University of Warwick

Solomon, Y. (2008) 'Building relationships with/in mathematics: exploring undergraduate learning communities.' Keynote address at the Higher Education Mathematics Education Conference, Loughborough University, September

Solomon, Y. (2007) 'Classroom processes and gender-sensitive pedagogy: an overview and some reflections on future directions in equal opportunities.' PREMA workshop Gender-Sensitivity and Pluralism in Mathematics Education, Paris, April

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings

Black, L, Solomon, Y & Radovic, D (2015) Mathematics as Caring : the role of 'others' in a mathematical identity, in K Krainer & N. Vondrova (eds) CERME 9 - Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Feb 2015, Prague, Czech Republic pp1564-1570

With, K. & Solomon, Y (2014) Choosing mathematics in Norway and England: discourses of gender, equity and choice, in H. Silfverberg, T. Kärki & M. S. Hannula (eds) Nordic research in mathematics education Proceedings of NORMA14 Turku, June 3–6

Bjerke, A.H., Eriksen, E., Rodal, C., Smestad & Solomon, Y. (2013) Theorising mathematics teaching: pre-service teachers' perceptions before and during school placement, in I. Pareliussen, B.B. Moen, A. Reinertsen & T. Solhaug (eds) FoU i Praksis 2012 proceedings Trondheim: Akademika Publishing pp20-27

Bjerke, A., Eriksen, E., Rodal, C., Smestad, B. & Solomon, Y. (2013) A tripartite cooperation? The challenges of school-university collaboration in mathematics teacher education in Norway, in A. M. Lindmeier & A. Heinze, (eds) Proceedings of the 37th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Kiel, Germany: PME Vol. 2, pp89-96

Teaching Interests

Classroom interaction and the construction of knowledge
Mathematics and identity
Gender and mathematics learning

Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

Classroom interaction
The development of academic literacy and critical thinking
Professional identities in nursing, medicine, teaching and public service interpreting
Mathematics learning


Position/Post: Professor of Education
Responsibilities: Leader of the STEM Education Research Group
Tel: 0161-247-2567
Location: Brooks 1.06