Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award


The Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award (BSPIA) is designed to stimulate the writing of papers on research related to mathematics teaching or learning or mathematics curricula. Application for the award is open to all members of MERGA who are registered for the conference. Authors who make use of the Early Bird scheme for conference paper submission will not be eligible for the BSPIA. The award consists of a plaque plus $500 and is presented at each conference. The award-winning paper is presented to the conference in a plenary session. As part of winning the award, it is expected that the winning recipient will write a brief (one or two paragraphs) report for an upcoming MERGA newsletter. If you have any questions about the award please contact VP Development.

Recent Winners


2018 Dianne Siemon, Rosemary Callingham, Lorraine Day, Marj Horne, Rebecca Seah, Max Stephens & Jane Watson
2017  Margaret Thomas, Doug Clarke, Andrea McDonough & Philip Clarkson
2016  Bob Perry, Ann Gervasoni, Anne Hampshire & Will O'Neill
2015  Jodie Hunter
2014  No Award
2013  Peter Gould

Please click here to view a complete list of BSPIA winners.

Applying for entry into the BSPIA 


If you wish to enter for the Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award, your paper is due on the due date for all research papers. Register for the conference in the normal way before submitting your paper. Submit your entry as for regular research papers, but express your interest in entering for the BSPIA when you submit your paper.  Note that at some MERGA conferences there is also a form to complete or a box to tick on the registration form, so check the conference website carefully.

When you write your paper, please ensure that you observe all general paper submission requirements including the maximum page length. In addition to the normal research paper, up to two additional pages (i.e., added to but removable from, the ‘normal’ research paper you submit) should be included. The practical implications of the research reported in the paper should be outlined in these two pages. Only the winner of the BSPIA will have the two extra pages printed, so write the research paper for review as a stand-alone paper that reads as a complete research report without the two pages. For a winning paper, the two "Practical implications" pages will be printed at the end of the research report.

Please note that co-authored papers are eligible for entry into the BSPIA.

Judging of the BSPIA


The judging panel will consist of two members of MERGA and two from AAMT and will be chaired by the VP (Development).

The criteria for the judging of the BSPIA will include all the criteria for the review of paper presentations at the conference. In addition, the following specific criteria for the BSPIA will apply.

  • Problem  Does the paper describe a significant and persistent problem/issue in mathematics teaching practice?
  • Documentation  In addition to the appropriate references to the scholarly literature, does the paper make effective use of relevant professional literature and key policy documents influencing mathematics teaching in practice?
  • Implications  In the additional pages, does the author(s) provide information which is relevant and useful for mathematics classroom teachers and/or teacher educators? Does the author(s) illustrate how the research findings can be applied to teaching and learning in mathematics?

Authors are reminded that their work will be a report relating to research in mathematics education and so, consistent with the general criteria for review of papers, will be expected to meet high standards with respect to:

  • Synthesis  The paper adequately synthesises the body of research findings relating to the nominated problem/issue as opposed to an ad hoc collection of ideas;
  • Methodology  The paper presents a concise description of the methodology adopted in the study;
  • Rationale  The paper presents a clear rationale, model and/or theoretical basis underlying resolution/discussion of the problem/issue discussed; and
  • Quality of writing  The paper is written in a clear, unambiguous and succinct style.

The winner(s) will be notified prior to the conference. The winning paper will be presented and the prize awarded as part of the Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award session, scheduled as part of the annual Conference.

History of the Award


The Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award was initiated and sponsored by the National Key Centre for Teaching and Research in School Science and Mathematics, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Curtin sponsored the "Practical Implications Award", as it was known for the first ten years. The Award is now sponsored by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). In 2008, MERGA was honoured to be able to rename the PIA as the Beth Southwell Practical Implications Award, in honour of MERGA's and AAMT's esteemed late member, Beth Southwell.