Dr Teukava Finau

Name: Dr Teukava Finau

Position: Fellow in Mathematics & Research

Telephone: +676 29055 (Work)

Email: teukava.finau@usp.ac.fj

Office: USP Tonga Campus, Tonga

Bio: I come from the village of Ta’anea, in the eastern part of Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga. I taught secondary school mathematics and Physics for over 10 years in Tonga prior to working as a Fellow in Research and Mathematics at the Institute of Education (IOE) of The University of the South Pacific (USP). I completed my Master degree from The University of the South Pacific (USP) and my PhD degree from Curtin University Perth, Western Australia before joining the Institute of Education in 2018. My research of interests are related to cognitive acceleration in mathematics education and understanding students’ ideas about mathematical concepts, and how these ideas contribute to conceptual change and can be used to enhance the design of curricula and teachers’ classroom practice. I have published papers and articles in these areas. I have been doing educational research and professional development with teachers in teaching mathematics and numeracy, and I am currently the numeracy specialist for the Institute’s funded projects around the Pacific region.

Current research projects

  • Tonga Education Support Activity (TESA) Project
  • Waka Moana Project – Supporting Learning Continuity program
  • Education Sustainable Development Project – Phase 2
  • Pacific Education Research Framework (PacREF)


PhD, Mathematics Education
Curtin University, Australia

MSc, Pure Mathematics
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji

BSc, Mathematics & Phsics
Atenisi University, Tonga

Certificate Teaching
Tonga Institute of Education, Tonga


Finau , T., Treagust, D., Won, M., & Chandrasegaran, A. L. (n.d.). Effects of a mathematics cognitive acceleration program on student achievement and motivation. 16 (1), 183-202. doi:10.1007/s10763-016-9763-5

Finau, T., Treagust, D. F., & Won, M. (2017). Tongan students’ achievement and motivation following a mathematics cognitive acceleration program. European Science Education Research Association 2017 Conference. Perth: Unpublished. Retrieved from http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11466

‘Otunuku , M., & Finau, T. (2019). Public Perceptions of Child and Adult Poverty in Tonga [Professional and Technical Reports]. University of the South Pacific, Institute of Education . Retrieved from http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11925

‘Otunuku, M., Finau, T., & Reynolds, M. (2020). Excellence in teaching: a review of professional standards for teachers in the Pacific SIDS [Professional and Technical Reports]. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and UNESCO for the Pacific States. Retrieved 2021, from https://repository.usp.ac.fj/12380/


Research interests

Cognitive acceleration in mathematics education, Understanding students’ ideas about mathematical concepts, and how these ideas contribute to conceptual change and can be used to enhance the design of curricula and teachers’ classroom practice.

Project involvement

  • Tonga Education Support Activity, Ministry of Education of Tonga, 1st July 2019 – 31st December 2021.
  • Waka Moana Project, UNESCO Samoa Office, October 2020 – 30th September 2021.
  • Education Sustainable Development Project (ESD 2) Phase 2, UNESCO Samoa Office but through MET Tonga, August 2021 – September 2021.
  • SABER project, Ministry of Education and Training of Tonga, April 2020 – October 2020.
  • Review of Professional Standards for teachers in the Pacific SIDS, UNESCO Samoa office, April 2019 – September 2019.
  • Poverty Study Project, Statistics Department of Tonga, November 2018 – June 2019.


  • List of committee/board/society involvement
  • Examination Unit (EU) Moderator member.
  • Member of Tonga Mathematics Club
  • Ta’anea Village Development Committee


  • Foundation Mathematics 11, March 2019 –June 2019, MAF11
  • Foundation Mathematics 12, August 2019 – November 2019, MAF12.
  • Linear Algebra, August 2011 – November 2011, MA221
  • Mathematics with Calculus 1, March 2011 – June 2011, MA111.
  • Mathematics for Finance, March 2011 – June 2011, MA101