Robin Nagy headshot
Postgraduate Research Student

Robin Nagy

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Education

Thesis Title

The Role of Effort in High School Students’ Academic Development: A Longitudinal Perspective in Mathematics and English

Supervisors

Summary

Our school systems typically measure success in terms of academic achievement, rather than student learning and growth. How can we encourage students to try their best if their efforts are not rewarded by this systemic success measure? This PhD, proposes a multidimensional model of student effort, to investigate the factors influencing and mitigating against effort in high school. In completing this PhD, it is anticipated that student effort can be reliably targeted to nurture students’ growth, develop intrinsic motivation for learning and help students fulfil their academic potential. It will help to shift the systemic ‘success-focus’ away from an exclusive emphasis on outcomes of learning, towards the more important processes of learning. 

Bio

Robin has taught mathematics and been a senior leader in secondary schools for over 20 years in the UK, Thailand and Australia, receiving a special commendation in 2000 at the UK national teaching awards. In Australia, he has also been a professional learning consultant for the Mathematical Association of NSW, running professional development for mathematics teachers across the state. In addition to being a UNSW PhD candidate and Research Assistant, Robin is an educational consultant, advising schools on best practice in implementing data-driven student growth strategies. His PhD research is an investigation into the optimisation of high-school students’ effort, building on his work as a practitioner on the measurement and tracking of student effort to improve intrinsic motivation for learning. He was awarded 'most innovative PhD research in NSW' by the NSW Institute of Educational Research in 2021.

Publications

  • MANSW | 2019
    Nagy, R.P.

    co-editor of Mathematical Association of NSW 2018 HSC Solutions (‘The Lilac Book’) ISBN 978-0-9923745-0-1

    MANSW | 2018
    Nagy, R.P

    co-editor of Mathematical Association of NSW 2017 HSC Solutions (‘The Lilac Book’) ISBN 978-0-9923745-9-4

    Sirivatana Interprint | 2005
    Nagy, R.P.

    Children of the Tsunami : Khao Lak - a Story of Hope. ISBN 9749363116 Bangkok: Sirivatana Interprint.

  • Journal articles | 2021
    Martin, A. J., Collie, R. J., Nagy, R. P.

    Adaptability and High School Students’ Online Learning During COVID-19: A Job Demands-Resources Perspective, Frontiers in Psychology, V12:3181 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.702163

    Journal articles | 2019
    Nagy, R.P.

    Teaching by Numbers: What’s Wrong with Mathematics Education?.– The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 44 (1)

    Journal articles | 2017
    Nagy, R.P.

    Tracking and Visualising Student Effort: A Practical Analytics Tool for Student Engagement, ACER Excellence in Professional Practice Conference 2017 – Case Studies of Practice. Australian Council for Educational Research pp.53 – 62

    Journal articles | 2016
    Nagy, R.P.

    Using GeoGebra for student-centred learning. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 41 (4), pp. 36-47. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2016
    Nagy, R.P.

    A Sublime Year. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 41 (4), p.48. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2016
    Nagy, R.P.

    Tracking and Visualizing Student Effort: Evolution of a Practical Analytics Tool for Staff and Student Engagement. Journal of Learning Analytics (Special Section – Learning Analytics for 21st Century Competencies), Vol 3(2). Pp. 165–193. http://dx.doi.org/10.18608/jla.2016.32.8.

    Journal articles | 2014
    Nagy, R.P.

    Student Motivation and a Focus on Effort. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 39 (4), pp. 12-15. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2014
    Nagy, R.P.

    Vectors, Matrices, Statistics, and Other Nightmares De-mystified. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 39 (1), pp. 26-35. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R.P.

    Mathematical Golf (The Maths Exchange: Sharing Classroom ideas and activities). The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 38 (4), pp. 30. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R.P.

    Extend Yourself (Part 2). The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 38 (3), pp. 6-8. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R.P.

    Extend Yourself (Part 1). The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 38 (2), pp. 15-17. ISSN 0156-7799. PrintPost 212564/0004. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R. P.

    Building a Solid Foundation from which to Launch our Future Mathematicians. Mathematics: Launching Futures (Proceedings of the 24th Biennial Conference of The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc.) Research Papers pp. 124 – 132. PDF: ISBN 978-1-875900-76-3; Printed Volume ISBN 978-1-875900-77-0 Adelaide, SA: AAMT

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R. P.

    Building a Solid Foundation from which to Launch our Future Mathematicians. Australian Mathematics Teacher, Vol 69 (3), pp.20-25. ISSN 0045-0685. Adelaide, SA: AAMT

    Journal articles | 2013
    Nagy, R. P.

    Extending Mathematics: A Holistic Introduction to the Binomial Theorem, Binomial Distribution and Combinations. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 38 (1), pp. 12-15. ISSN 0156-7799. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2012
    Nagy, R. P.

    Strategies for teaching the ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ (A Conceptual Approach to Teaching Mathematics). The Mathematical Association of NSW Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 37 (1), pp. 16-21. ISSN 0156-7799. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2011
    Nagy, R. P.

    A Treasure Chest of Investigations for the Mathematics Classroom Y7-12 The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 36 (1),. ISSN 0156-7799. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

    Journal articles | 2010
    Nagy, R. P.

    The Dotted Shapes Project: An investigation into mensuration and algebra using an experiential approach. The Mathematical Association of New South Wales Journal ‘Reflections’, Vol 35 (1), pp. 39-43. ISSN 0156-7799. Sydney: ATC Printing Pty Ltd.

  • Conference proceedings | 2018
    Nagy, R.P.

    Tracking and Visualising Student Effort: A Practical Analytics Tool for Student Engagement. Companion Proceedings 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK18) pp.319-324 Conference Proceedings http://solaresearch.org/uploads/LAK18_Companion_Proceedings.pdf

    Projects | 2015
    Nagy, R.P.

    Sumatran Camera Trap Environmental Project, International Teacher Magazine, Vol 2 (2) http://consiliumeducation.com/itm/2015/09/22/sumatran-camera-trap-environmental-project/ online publisher: Consilium Education http://consiliumeducation.com/

    Books | 2007
    Nagy, R. P.

    A Novel Idea: The Tsunami Book Project, A CAS Case Study. IB World Magazine, Jan 2007, p.15 Middlesex, UK: IBO

Awards

1.     May 2021 - NSW Institute for Educational Research Award: “Most Innovative HDR Research in NSW” , for his 3-minute thesis pitch. This was a state-wide inter-university competition, where universities were invited to enter their best HDR research.  Robin’s research was judged by a panel to outperform nominees from five NSW universities.  The panel comprised experts in educational policy, practice, and academia.

2.     July 2017 - Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Excellence in Professional Practice Conference 2017 (Gold Coast) - Outstanding Session Award - Tracking and Visualising Student Effort: A Practical Analytics Tool for Student Engagement – Case Studies of Practice.

3.     May 2000 UK National Teaching Awards: Outstanding Secondary School Teacher - Special Commendation- Robin was one of four regional finalists (Southeast of England) in the UK National Teacher of the Year Awards. Specially commended at a ceremony in the Café Royal, London in the Outstanding Secondary School Teacher category.

Grants

Robin has been awarded an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship towards his PhD Research.

Media

Martin, A.J., Collie, R.J., & Nagy, R.P. (2021). Students who are more adaptable do best in remote learning – and it’s a skill we can teach. In ‘The Conversation’, August, https://theconversation.com/students-who-are-more-adaptable-do-best-in-remote-learning-and-its-a-skill-we-can-teach-165003

Martin, A.J., Collie, R.J., & Nagy, R.P. (2021) UNSW Mediarelease: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/helping-students-adapt-online-learning-sets-them-success

Nagy, R.P. (2019, December 7). The epic failure at the root of Australia’s maths problem. ABC News.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/the-demise-of-australian-mathematics-teachers-students/11768644