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Beth Southwell Memorial Fund
Associate Professor Beth Southwell was an inspiring educator, committed to opportunity and excellence.
Beth grew up in the Tamworth area and studied at the University of New England where she was awarded for her outstanding academic achievements.
As a teacher, Beth was well regarded by her students, especially at North Sydney Girls High School and Penrith High School.
Beth was the first Australian doctorate in mathematics education, travelling to England to achieve her qualification. Her research also took her to Papua New Guinea, where she worked to further the educational aspirations of the local people.
In Sydney Beth was one of few mathematics education researchers until the 1990s when the field began to develop, thanks at least in part to her commitment. While many of Beth's peers went on to hold senior positions in universities, Beth's passion for excellence in mathematics teaching kept her working in this field to the last.
As a lecturer and tutor at Western Sydney University, Beth always presented her students with the most current approaches to mathematics education. For many years, she was influential in syllabus reviews and with the Mathematics Association of NSW encouraging continuing professional development.
Beth's sense of humour and enjoyment spread to her tutorial classes which were both active and theoretical. She stood firmly for quality mathematics teaching and high expectations and against testing regimes and bitsy knowledge. She advocated constructivist learning, alternative authentic assessment, the beauty of mathematical patterns and relationships and the values of mathematics education.
Beth cared for her students, giving them extra assistance out of class, and teaching in programs for mature age students to assist their entry to university.
Beth worked for Western Sydney University (and its previous institutions) from 1972 till her passing in 2007.
Beth Southwell Memorial Prize for Mathematics Education
To honour Beth's achievements and recognise her contribution to the University and the field of mathematics education, the School of Education has established the Beth Southwell Memorial Fund to support a perpetual prize in her memory.
Through gifts from alumni, staff and friends, the Beth Southwell Memorial Prize will support and further the aspirations of current Education students. In memory of Beth's passion and dedication, the Prize recognises final year Education students with outstanding performance in Secondary Mathematics.
Give now to support the Beth Southwell Memorial Fund.