Professor Rose Griffiths
Professor of Education
I am a Professor of Education and a National Teaching Fellow. I began my teaching career as a secondary school mathematics teacher, and have also taught in pre-school, primary, special and adult education. From 2017 to 2021, I was Visiting Professor II at the University of Trondheim (NTNU) in Norway.
My major teaching and research interests are in mathematics education, including low attainment in mathematics across the 5 to 19 age range. My writing for the mathematics classroom and for children at home has extended over thirty years, with more than 100 titles published, including for Puffin, Cambridge, Scholastic, Oxford, Open University Press and Pearson, both in the UK and across the world.
Please see ‘Research’ for my recent work, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, on teaching about counting, whole-number arithmetic, and fractions and decimals.
I am a former foster carer and adoptive parent, and founded the Letterbox Club, for children in foster care, in Leicester in 2003. This has grown year by year, with major funding from the DCSF (now the DfE) for a national pilot in 2007-08, in partnership with BookTrust. The programme provides books, number games and other educational materials by post, to children aged 3 to 13 in five age ranges. There were over 12,000 children enrolled in the Letterbox Club across the UK in 2022.
My recent work, with my colleagues Dr Jenni Back and Dr Sue Gifford, has been a research and development project funded by the Nuffield Foundation, aiming to improve the teaching of fractions and decimals to children aged 3 to 11. The project’s Main Report (PDF, 666kb), Review of Research (PDF, 408kb) and Examples for Teachers (PDF, 1MB) are available free to download by clicking on the named hyperlinks.
Our full advice for teachers is in a book published by Oxford University Press: Making Fractions (2023). There are two complementary animations for children available free on the Oxford Owl website.
Our previous work, also funded by the Nuffield Foundation, examined ways of encouraging teachers to use practical equipment to teach whole-number arithmetic effectively. Making Numbers (2016), has accompanying free animations and short professional development videos for teachers on Oxford Owl.
My doctoral study examined the causes and nature of looked-after children's difficulties in mathematics, and suggested potential improvements for policy and practice. I undertook case studies of five children aged 7 to 11 with varied 'care backgrounds', exploring provision in school and the mathematics each child did at home. (University of Cambridge, 2014)
BookTrust’s website will tell you more about the Letterbox Club.
In earlier work with the Childhood Bereavement Network and Leeds Animation Workshop, I initiated two much-praised projects: Not too young to grieve and Teenage Grief, which provided advice for teachers, parents and other practitioners about supporting children who have been bereaved.
Griffiths, R., Back, J. and Gifford, S. (2023) Making Fractions: practical approaches to fractions and decimals. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 112 pp.
Griffiths, R. and Craven-Griffiths, A. (2023) Jam Tarts and Halves and Decimal Dragon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Two stop-motion animations, available free on the OxfordOwl website).
Griffiths, R., Back, J. and Gifford, S. (2016) Making Numbers: using manipulatives to teach arithmetic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 112 pp.
Griffiths, R. and Craven-Griffiths, A. (2016) Half a Hundred Hedgehogs, Ten Fishes in the Sea, Five Friends Counting and Ten Tens and a Dragon. Oxford: O.U.P. (Four stop-motion animations showing key elements of counting and early arithmetic for children aged 3 to 11 on the OxfordOwl website).
Griffiths, R. (2014) Mathematics at home and at school for looked-after children: the example of Ronan, aged eight. In S. Pope (ed) Proceedings of the 8th British Congress of Mathematics Education (BCME) 2014, 159-166.
Griffiths, R. (2014) Difficulties in number experienced by children aged 7 to 11 in public care in England. PhD thesis published on line on DSpace at Cambridge: www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/247454
Griffiths, R. (2012) The Letterbox Club: an account of a postal club to raise the achievement of children aged 7 to 13 in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review. 34(6): 1101-1106.
Griffiths, R. (2008) The Family Counts. In I. Thompson (Ed), Teaching and Learning Early Number: 2nd edition, 47-58. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Griffiths, R. and Gray, J. (2008) Getting children talking; Getting children counting
These two multilingual DVDs, for parents and professionals, looked at parents' and carers' views of their children's development. The DVDs have been used extensively in the UK and in many university education departments, including in Canada, Sweden, Israel and Australia.
Griffiths, R. (2005) Rapid Maths. Originally developed as the Number Connections series: 15 textbooks, 5 books of copymasters, and 5 teachers' books (Heinemann, 1996) and renamed in a new edition, 2005, as Rapid Maths.