Department of Education

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Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford, Rachel completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Language Sciences specialising in Sign Language Studies at University College London. Between studying, Rachel was employed as a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, particularly with KS4 students who struggled with reading, and also as a British Sign Language Communication Support Worker with D/deaf students in further education colleges in London. Prior to beginning doctoral training, she worked at University College London, developing and trialling a parent-delivered early language intervention (PACT; Parents and Children Together), which aimed to improve the oral language and literacy skills of nursery aged children, particularly focussing on those living in areas of higher deprivation.

In addition to working on her own research, Rachel was involved in the organisation of the student-led postgraduate STORIES (Student’s Ongoing Research in Education) conference 2018, and has also contributed to the development of the ATLAS app (Automated Test of Language AbilitieS), designed to assess the verbal language skills of young children.

Research interests
  • Early language and literacy development
  • Language intervention in the early years
  • Use of Randomised Control Trials in educational research

Fiona Jelley is a DPhil student in the Child Development and Learning (CDL) research group. Her doctoral work focuses on children’s early numeracy development and is funded by a LiFT project studentship.

The aim of Fiona’s doctoral research is to investigate the possible causal relationships between core numeracy skills (e.g. number knowledge) and arithmetic. Her broader research interests include evaluations of interventions designed to enhance young children’s development, parental involvement in children’s education, and investigating the way technology can be used in supporting children’s learning.

Before joining the Department, Fiona gained a first-class honours degree in Psychology from The University of Bath. Since then, she has worked in a variety of research roles at the Department, most recently as a senior researcher on the LiFT project, exploring the potential of digital technology in parental engagement. She has been involved in various other parental engagement projects, often involving evaluations through randomised controlled trials. She was also part of a team working with Oxford University Press on new and innovative ways that technology can support young children’s reading.

Erin is a doctoral student in Education, researching the development of new technologies through interdisciplinary practices.

She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Alongside her studies, Erin writes for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO, and she has recently completed an appointment as an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University, hosted by Prof. Roy Pea. Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford, and was a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute.

She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. Erin holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and between her periods of study she worked for Thomas Reuters in New York City and Kantar (WPP) in London. Erin has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome, and she is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek.

She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices Ballet and yoga. Erin’s current research interests include Science and Technology Studies (STS), interdisciplinarity, sociology of technology, Science of Team Science (SciTS), knowledge transfer, emerging technologies and Higher Education policy.

Publications

Hajikhani, Young, Wilmot, Alexanyan, and Russell (2018). University-Industry Programs as Platforms: A Case Study of Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Network Development. (HICSS2018), January 2018, Hawaii, USA.

Young (2016). An investigation of technology mediation in interdisciplinary research within Higher Education. Networked Learning Conference (NLC2016), May 2016, Lancaster University, UK.

Yasmine El Masri is a Research Fellow at OUCEA and a Hulme Junior Research Fellow in Educational Assessment at Brasenose College. She has been appointed by Ofqual as an External Assessment Specialist and by Qualification Wales as an Assessment Expert Advisor.

Yasmine completed her DPhil in Education at OUCEA in 2015. Her doctoral thesis examined the impact of language on the difficulty of PISA science tests across UK, France and Jordan using different psychometric and statistical techniques including Rasch modelling and differential item functioning (DIF). In 2014, Yasmine received Kathleen Tattersall New Researcher Award from the Association for Education Assessment- Europe (AEA-Europe).

Before coming to Oxford, Yasmine was a science teacher in secondary schools in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. In addition to her DPhil degree from Oxford, Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Science Education, a Teaching Diploma for teaching science in secondary schools and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Yasmine led various externally funded projects, including a one-year ESRC GCRF Fellowship in 2017, during which she collaborated with a local NGO in Lebanon producing open source interactive science tasks in multiple languages for underprivileged students in the country, including Syrian refugees. She is currently leading a study within Project Calibrate, a three-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Foundation aiming to enhance summative assessments of practical science in England. She is also a co-investigator and a project manager of a project funded by the International Baccalaureate Organization focused on Critical Thinking in the Diploma Programme.

Research Interests

Item difficulty and demands, language in assessment, science assessments, international large-scale assessments, critical thinking, comparability of assessments across cultures

 

Dr Sonali Nag is Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child and Education Fellow of Brasenose College.

Her interest in children’s typical and atypical development began with an MPhil at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, India).

Following her MPhil, she co-established the Consultant Psychologists Group and a Special Needs Center offering support for children manifesting difficulties in school. She also began work in the Indian charity, The Promise Foundation , focusing on early childhood and primary school programmes for children in poverty. She remains an honorary member of the Foundation.

Her PhD at the University of Portsmouth (UK) examined the impact of two interventions on literacy outcomes among multilingual children. In 2004, she began exploring the cognitive bases of learning to read in the Indic writing system of South Asia and as a Newton Fellow of the Royal Society and British Academy began the Children Learning to Read project in India in 2009. She curates a unique web resource—Lingua Akshara —for researchers, clinicians and teachers working in South and Southeast Asian languages. She moved to Oxford in 2017.

Sonali investigates child learning within diverse settings. Her research is comparative with a focus on languages, writing systems, cultural settings and levels of socio-economic status. She uses a wide variety of methods including surveys in schools and home settings, child assessments, corpora analysis, secondary data analysis, and narrative reviews. Her work seeks to develop a nuanced, contextually grounded understanding of child development. Her research can broadly be categorised into the study of child level factors and contextual factors.

She has worked extensively on the languages of south Asia and how children master the scripts of the region. She has conducted studies on literacy development in multilingual India, focusing on Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi and English. Since 2015, this line of work has expanded to select other languages across Asia, including Sinhala, Filipino and Mandarin. Taken together, this body of work has helped to understand how design features of a writing system influence learning. Since 2020, she is working with collaborators on interventions that can support children’s oral language development. Another line of recent work is to examine children’s books to better map the real world demands on meaning making among young learners.

She also studies the effects of contextual factors on literacy learning using an unparalleled database of thirty-years of research in low- and middle-income countries. This work synthesises descriptive, correlational and causal evidence to inform theorising, and practice. The work on child assessment, for instance, has drawn attention to large-scale replication of western tests even when education systems are not teaching a European language or alphabetic system. The examination of interventions to support literacy learning highlights little attention to potentially useful cultural practices linked to oral and choral language traditions and learning-by-writing. These lines of study have relevance for policy and practice.

Sonali is currently the course leader for the MSc. Education (Child Development and Education) pathway. She serves as a reviewer for national and international research councils and high impact journals in the fields of child development, experimental and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, education, and development studies. she has been a key note speaker, invited speaker and symposium chair at leading international conferences concerned with reading, cognition, developmental disorders, and comparative and international education. She has initiated and led international networks for the study of the akshara writing system of Asia, foundation learning in low- and middle-income countries, and methods to assess child language. She has written evidence briefs, drafted education policies, and led reform of curricula for the early childhood and primary school years. She has been an invited panel member in agenda-setting meetings for multilateral agencies. She has also supported practitioner networks.

Manal is a recipient of the Clarendon Scholarship. Her research is funded by a joint award between the Clarendon Fund and Brasenose College

Her research focuses on the links between social and digital exclusion in the learning of young people. Manal was awarded a distinction for her  MSc. in Education (Learning and New Technologies) at the University of Oxford (2017) and is currently building on that work for her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Rebecca Eynon and Professor Niall Winters. Manal holds an Honours BA in Global Affairs (Middle East & North Africa Studies) from George Mason University (2011) and has five years of experience working in the U.S. and the MENA region.

Research interests:

  • Feminist Studies
  • Critical Approaches in Educational Research

Aneyn O’Grady is a first-year DPhil Student supported by the LiFT Project studentship, focused on how an individual’s system of emotion concept representation may underlie interpersonal behaviour.

Her research draws upon her master’s dissertation completed in 2018 as part of the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), also supervised by Dr. Sonali Nag at the University of Oxford Department of Education, that led to the creation of an emotion identification computer game and coding scheme to grasp multi-faceted and multi-modal understanding of emotions in children.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, Aneyn worked in the NYC Department of Education as an Americorps VISTA Program Associate in the Office of Community Schools focused on supporting partnerships between social service agencies and low-performing/underserved state schools to address issues with attendance, access to health/mental health services, and family engagement, as well as developing an asset map of local community resources.

Her research interests centre on the relationship between language and social skill, and how this links to the development of social-emotional learning curricula and interventions. She is particularly focused on exploring individual differences in theory of mind, the influence of multilingualism, and how engaging in digital spaces (e.g., social media) may influence emotion representation and social cognition for today’s developing child.

Title of Thesis

Structuring Mind-Space: The Role of Language in the Multi-Dimensional Representation of Emotion

Publications

Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.

Through interviews with headteachers and teachers, Shailen is seeking to tell the story of how the policy of assessing without level descriptors has been interpreted and enacted in six primary schools in Oxfordshire.

Shailen has worked for many years in children and young people services for local authorities, charities and also his own social enterprise.  He tries to create educational programmes and environments which nurture the whole person and build self-esteem.

Title of Thesis

How have primary schools interpreted and enacted Assessment without Levels

Publications

Ethnicity and Education in England: How Lammy has distracted us.  Oxford Forum Journal, January 2018  Popat, S., Lenkeit, J., Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2017)

PIRLS for Teachers – A review of practitioner engagement with international large-scale assessment results.  Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment Report OUCEA/17/1)

Sonia is a DPhil (PhD) student at the Department of Education, Oxford, focusing on teacher expertise.

Her research aims to investigate how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of teachers’ classroom teaching and learning experiences from a sociocultural perspective, which holds that learning is founded within participation in social and cultural practices. She has derived from both the psychological and sociological fields, from the works of Vygotsky and Bernstein.

She holds a degree in Master of Education with specialisation in Curriculum and Teaching from National Institute of Education (NIE), National Technological University, Singapore; Master of Philosophy in English from Kurukshetra University, India.

She is a former Middle and High School English Teacher in international schools in Singapore, and a Post Graduate Teacher of English in public schools in New Delhi, India. She has received a Senior Hulme Scholarship consecutively for two years 2016-17 from Brasenose College for exceptional academic performance.

Publications

Khan, S. (2016). Five brooks one purpose. In Y. Fang, A. M. Nandy, D. Liew, H.M. Sun, S.P. Tan, & S. Khan (Eds.)., Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Fang, Y., Nandy, A. M., Liew, D., Sun, H. M., Tan, S. P., & Khan, S. (Eds.). (2016). Singapore Teachers: Narratives of Care, Hope and Commitment. Singapore: World Scientific.

Rachel is a DPhil student in the Department of Education, Oxford. Her research focuses on improving children’s literacy, through interventions which target early spoken language skills.

Before studying that the University of Oxford,