Michael has devoted his
professional life to understanding the processes of teaching and learning
mathematics at all levels. As a teacher in Ghana, he organised a team of
educators to produce the first secondary mathematics textbook ever to be
written by local teachers. As a lecturer in Jamaica, he pioneered research into
the special difficulties that students brought up in a non-industrialised
culture experience when learning mathematics. As a consultant at the Leibniz
Computing Centre, Munich, he helped many a student and professor analyse and
interpret innovative research. And as a professor in the School of Education
staff at Macquarie University, he has produced many innovative insights into
the role of pattern and structure in the learning of mathematics, especially in
early childhood. Over the years, he has presented his findings at conferences
all over the world and has written numerous mathematics textbooks and over a
hundred articles in academic journals.
Michael is also an experienced
educational administrator. Apart from the leading committee roles listed above,
he has been Vice-Dean of the School of Education at the University of the West
Indies, Jamaica; coordinator of the Masters of Education and Diploma of
Education programs at Macquarie University; and Director of the Centre for
Research in Mathematics and Science Education in the Australian Centre for
Educational Studies at Macquarie University.
Music is one of Michael’s deepest
loves. He has sung in a large number of choirs, including the Trinity College
Chapel Choir, Ohio State Chorale, Jamaica National Chorale, Stuttgart Philharmonic
Choir, Munich Motet Choir, Sydney Philharmonia, Sydney Chamber Choir and Coro
Innominata. He has also appeared in solo and choral roles in several Gilbert
& Sullivan operettas, Rogers & Hammerstein musicals and Verdi operas in
Ghana, Jamaica, England and Germany, and occasionally plays a New Orleans jazz
Michael is always finding ways to
combine his professional experience with his musical interests. He assisted his
wife, the violinist Elisabeth Mitchelmore, to organise the Amabile Players and
establish their long-running concert series in Sydney. He played a leading role
in founding the Kuringai Youth Orchestra, which offers talented young classical
musicians on the Upper North Shore of Sydney advanced orchestral opportunities.
He has also carefully observed his daughter’s progress in learning the violin
up to LMus and frequently shares pedagogical and psychological reflections on
music learning with Elisabeth.
Among his other interests, Michael particularly
making a harpsichord from native timber in Ghana to making sets with Gosford
Musical Society. He has also developed and maintains three web sites devoted to
family history and is a qualified futsal referee.