I studied for a Masters in educational neuroscience at UCL-Institute of Education and Birkbeck (2014-15), a primary PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church (2010-1), and a BSc in geography at University of Birmingham (1995-8). I studied A-levels at Eastbourne 6th form college, and GCSEs at Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School.
MA, Primary PGCE, BSc
Lots of different jobs relating to teaching and learning: Piano teacher; primary school teacher (teaching whole classes, pupil premium groups, and coordinating PE and science); research assistant on the UnLocke project; researcher at Ofsted. My first full-time job was doing something very different though - I used to work at Thomson Holidays in the planning and pricing department.
PhD student at UCL-Institute of Education, funded by a Bloomsbury Colleges studentship
My Mega Moderating Moment:
I enjoy the Live Chats because of the wide range of topics and discussions that are covered during the hour! It’s really great when you can see that both teachers and researchers have learnt or gained something from the interactions – after all, that’s part of what collaboration is all about!
What topics do you work on?
I used to be a primary school teacher, so I am very interested in finding out more about maths and science learning in children. My studies focus on exploring relationships between maths and science achievement, and global and local processing. The visual environment is made up of global levels (the whole) and local levels (details or parts of the whole), so we can think of global processing as acquiring the gist, and local processing as acquiring detailed information. For example, a tree is made up of several different parts, so focussing on the tree as a whole would be global processing, and focussing on a single leaf would be local processing.
What methods do you use?
I use behavioural tasks, either on a computer, or pen-and-paper activities. I will also be using an eye tracker as part of my next study, as these are really useful for showing where participants focus their attention while they’re completing the tasks.
Who was your favourite teacher?
I used to spend quite a lot of time in the music department at school, so I would have to say that all my music teachers were my favourite!
Me and my work
I am currently planning my next study. This will use eye tracking technology to find out what influences children’s ability to separate a target from its context, and how this is related to performance on four types of maths questions (arithmetic, word problems, shape, graphs).
There are lots of different types of things I might be working on, such as: reading other people’s research; writing; planning studies which involves thinking about different tasks, sometimes creating new tasks, programming, and recruiting participants; collecting data; analysing data; presenting; discussing; organising events; and sometimes a little bit of lecturing, marking, and student supervision.