Masters Thesis Highly Commended in BERA’s 2019 Dissertation Awards

Friday, May 17, 2019

Category: News

British Education Research Association (BERA) judges have awarded Masters in Learning and Teaching student Ashley Elkington with a highly commended for her dissertation entitled, ‘Incorporating faded worked-examples into the mathematics classroom: exploring gender and socioeconomic effects with two Grade 9 groups from South Africa’.

Every year BERA recognises academic excellence and rigour in research by Masters students through their Dissertation Awards. Ashley’s thesis was selected from a number of high quality applications and explored if students of varying prior knowledge level, socioeconomic status and gender were differentially affected by completing faded worked-examples during their mathematics classes. A participatory research approach was conducted with teachers from two schools of different socioeconomic standing and the results alluded to the possibility of gender differences within cognitive load theory and worked-example research, a result which had not previously been documented.

Ashley began the Masters in Learning and Teaching on a part-time basis whilst living and working as a full-time Mathematics and Physical Science teacher in South Africa. She had been in teaching for approximately eight years before starting the programme and was looking for a way to enhance her understanding of how students learn and how best to teach them.

Ashley commented: “When I applied to Oxford, I was not looking to merely attain an MSc; I wanted to be challenged and pushed past what I thought I could achieve. This would not have been possible without the guidance of Jenni Ingram, my supervisor, and the rest of the staff in the department. My thinking has been tested and extended to heights that I never thought imaginable and Oxford has quite impressively exceeded all my expectations. Through my time here, I am more able to improve the lives and education of the students under my care.”

To discover more about the department’s Masters in Learning and Teaching see here: www.education.ox.ac.uk/programmes/msc-learning-teaching/