Natia Sopromadze is a Research Officer working on the project “Education partnerships for development: Sustaining teacher quality in context”.
The study aims to investigate teacher education and early career teaching experiences across selected countries eligible for official development assistance. The research is funded by the John Fell Fund at the University of Oxford and is led by Prof Diane Mayer. Within this project, Natia is responsible for trialling a multi-country survey in collaboration with researchers and policymakers in Bhutan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova and Timor-Leste.
Natia has international experience in different higher education contexts having worked at Georgian, Kuwaiti and UK universities. She is interested in comparative research methodology, particularly, issues of equivalence across diverse cultures and languages. Her research interests also include narrative, visual, digital and mixed methods at the intersection of disciplines.
Before joining the Department of Education in January 2020, Natia was part of collaborative research projects at the University of Wolverhampton, where she examined effective learning spaces and inclusive science education at tertiary level. Prior to this, Natia was an Early Career Fellow at the Warwick Institute of Advanced Study, where she co-organised an online symposium on “Methodological Innovations in Cultural Research.”
Natia holds a BA in English Philology from Akaki Tsereteli State University (Georgia), an MA in Educational Leadership and Innovation and a PhD in Education from the University of Warwick (UK).
Sopromadze, N., Moorosi, P. (2017) Do we see through their eyes? Testing a bilingual questionnaire in education research using cognitive interviews. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 524-540. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2016.1181163
Sopromadze, N. (2011) Bologna reforms in Georgia: Changes, challenges and pitfalls. International Journal ‘Intellect’, Georgian Foundation for Development of Sciences and Society, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 166-169.
Goodall, J., Smith, R., & Sopromadze, N. (2013) An investigation into the training and development needs of Heads of Department in English Universities. British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society, pp. 1-12.
Research Blog Posts
Sopromadze, N. (2019) What I meant and the respondent assumed: Improving survey questions with cognitive interviews. BERA Blog, British Educational Research Association.
Sopromadze, N. (2019) ‘Lead with heart, manage with care: Emotional experience of departmental leadership at Georgian and English universities’ at Responsibility of Higher Education Systems: What? Why? How?, The European Higher Education Society (EAIR) 41th Annual Forum, Leiden University, August 25-28, Leiden, the Netherlands.
Sopromadze, N., Karodia, N., Butler, R., Rhodes, J., Prior, R., Stanley, J. (2019) ‘Changing spaces: academic staff’s perceptions of conventional and imagined learning environments’ at 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EduLearn), Palma Convention Centre, July 1-3, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Sopromadze, N. (2018) “Vignettes in comparative education research: Interviewer as a storyteller” at Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis, Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) Conference, University of Cyprus, May 29 – June 1, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Sopromadze, N. (2016) “From English to Georgian: Questionnaire translation and adaptation in comparative education research” at International Conference Education, Reflection, Development, Babeș-Bolyai University, July 8-9, Cluj, Romania.
Sopromadze, N. (2015) “Am I We? Perceptions of self and others in leadership discourse” at Warwick International Postgraduate Conference in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, June 23-25, Coventry, UK.
Sopromadze, N., Moorosi, P. (2014) “Do we see through their eyes? Testing a web-based survey through cognitive interviews” at British Educational Research Association Conference (BERA), London Institute of Education, September 23-25, London, UK.
Sopromadze, N. (2014) “Emotional leadership in higher education: A cross-cultural study of heads of department in Georgia and England” at Opening up the Ivory Tower, Kaleidoscope Conference, University of Cambridge, May 29-30, Cambridge, UK.
Sopromadze, N. (2013) ‘A cross-cultural comparative study of emotional leadership at Georgian and English universities’ at Challenges and Innovation, Students’ Ongoing Research in Education Studies Graduate Conference (STORIES), Department of Education, University of Oxford, March 12-13, Oxford, UK.
Today’s young generations are among the first ones to grow up in an environment where digital voice assistants (e.g. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) can emulate some innate capabilities of their human Creators, such as the autonomous use of human language and speech. My dissertation aims to contribute to a theoretical as well as empirical understanding of what role voice assistants play in today’s home and childhood environments, and how exposure to these machines is related to way children construct a basic understanding of the world around them. In addition, I am also hoping that my findings will prefigure to a certain extent how the nature of human-machine relationships might look like in a couple of years and decades from now.
I am a pragmatic proponent of mixed methods designs, with a particular emphasis on advanced quantitative means of scientific inquiry. I also hold a strong interest in philosophical issues related to the ongoing rise of artificial/machine intelligence.
- Festerling, J., & Siraj, I. (2020). Alexa, what are you? Exploring Primary School Children’s Ontological Perceptions of Digital Voice Assistants in Open Interactions. Human Development, 64, 26–43. https://doi.org/10.1159/000508499
- Festerling, J. (2020) Alexa, what are you? Why we should actively engage children in discussions about intelligent technologies. Researching Education, Issue 3. https://researchingeducation.com/jfesterling1020/
- Festerling, J. (2020). Changing Nature of Childhood Environments – Investigating Children’s Interactions with Digital Voice Assistants in Light of a New Paradigm. Proceedings of The Thirteenth International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions – ACHI 2020, 73–78.
- Festerling, J. (2020). Alexa, How Do You Change Us? Annual Poster Conference of the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.36687.30887
- Festerling, J. (2020). Innovators’ Freedom to Challenge Our Paradigms: Why the Copernican Legacy Should Guide Our Progression through the Incipient Age of Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the Global Essay Competition at The Fiftieth St. Gallen Symposium. http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.18644.22405/1
Runke received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Normal University (BNU) and master’s from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) with distinction. Both of the fields were Early Childhood Education.
After graduation from HKU, she became a kindergarten teacher in China. As a teacher, she was fully conscious that the quality of teachers’ pedagogical practice is really important for children’s learning and well-being. Therefore, her current research is to explore the quality of kindergarten teachers’ pedagogical practice and its association with teachers’ leadership.
- Huang, R., Yang, W., & Li, H. (2019). On the road to participatory pedagogy: A mixed-methods study of pedagogical interaction in Chinese kindergartens. Teaching and Teacher Education, 85, 81-91.
- Huang, R., Yang, W., & Li, H. (2019). From transmissive to participatory pedagogies: A mixed- methods investigation of pedagogical interaction in Shenzhen kindergartens. 2019 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Symposium.
- Yang, W., Su, Y., Huang, R., Zhu, J., Hsieh, W-Y., & Li, H. (2019). Coaching, teacher instruction, and early childhood development: Synthesizing the conceptual rationales and empirical effects. 2019 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Poster.
Brad is currently completing his doctoral thesis. He aims to demonstrate that phonological skills can transfer between languages.
Brad developed an innovative programme teaching children phonics in either English or Cantonese. Without any further teaching, children were able to acquire the phonological skills in another language. The successful training results provide strong evidence that phonological skills are transferable across languages. Children develop the phonological skills for a new language by transferring their previous learning, instead of acquiring the skills anew.
In Brad’s research, he tailor-made a set of toys and storybooks for children to enjoy the learning experience. He has also constructed and validated a phonological test that measures children’s phonological awareness of English and Cantonese in parallel. Over 180+ kindergarteners have been individually trained and assessed by Brad using his teaching and assessment materials.
Brad is interested in research related to language development in early childhood. He is specialised in intervention studies using randomised controlled trial design and quantitative methods (e.g. structural equation modelling).
Brad holds a BEd in English Education (First Class Honours) from The University of Hong Kong and an MSc in Child Development and Education (Distinction) from The University of Oxford. Prior to his doctoral study, he has worked for NGOs serving underprivileged students.
Title of Thesis
Cross-linguistic transfer of phonological awareness in Chinese Children Receiving English Instruction: An Intervention Study
Chan, YWB., & Gao, X. (2014). Pre-service English teachers’ perceptions of newly arrived children from Mainland China. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(2), 140-154.
Tiarnach’s research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Tiarnach has returned to the Department of Education having previously completed an M.Sc in Childhood Development and Education at the University of Oxford. Tiarnach was recipient of the Oxford Review of Education Dissertation Prize 2016/2017 for his thesis exploring the effects of feedback in virtual learning environments. He completed his undergraduate, Honours B.Ed at Trinity College Dublin.
Tiarnach’s professional background is in primary education as a mainstream and English language teacher, working predominantly in disadvantaged communities.
- Technology in education
- Early literacy and numeracy learning
- Early mental health
- Effects of social disadvantage on education
- Quantitative methods in education research
Before starting at Oxford, Peter taught English and Maths, both in the UK and abroad.
Additionally he has completed research for The Northern Irish Civil Service and Civitas, a UK think tank, on patterns of UK school segregation. He holds a 1st class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics BA from Queens University, Belfast and a Masters of Education from The Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Title of Thesis
Understanding Ethnically Integrated Schools in the UK
Mitchell, P. (2017) 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Advocating for Your Child., Cambridge, MA.: RIDES, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Mitchell, P. (2017) 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Addressing Racial Bullying in School, Cambridge, MA.: RIDES, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Mitchell, P. (2017) A student centred analysis of ethnic segregation in London’s schools, London, UK.: Civitas Institute for the Study of Civil Society.
Yuanyue Hao obtained his BA degree in English (TESOL) in East China Normal University and MA degree in applied linguistics in Fudan University. Prior to his DPhil study, he taught TOEFL writing and EAP listening for Chinese learners of English.
His research involves interdisciplinary enquiries into applied linguistics and educational assessment, specifically language testing, adult second language speech, discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, global Englishes, natural language processing, and Rasch measurement. He is interested in the longitudinal attainment of L2 pronunciation of English by Chinese adult learners, analysed from the perspectives of many-facet Rasch model, phonetic analysis and natural language processing. His research tools include SPSS, R, Python, NVivo, Facets and RUMM.
Lars-Erik Malmberg is Professor of Quantitative Methods in Education, at the Department of Education, University of Oxford in the UK.
He started off as a primary school teacher in Finland. He is Docent in Education with particular focus on quantitative methods, at Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland, where he earned his Doctorate of Education. He completed his post-doc at Yale University and enjoyed the prestigious Research Councils UK (RCUK) academic fellowship 2007-12.
He has more than 70 publications (peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning and Instruction 2018-21. His current research interests are on intrapersonal approaches to learning processes and modelling of intrapersonal data. He has published on effects of education, child care and parenting on developmental and educational outcomes, and teacher development.
He applies advanced quantitative models to the investigation of substantive research questions in education. He recently completed the ESRC-funded seminar series called “Network on Intrapersonal Research in Education.”
Ariel is a Departmental Lecturer in Research Methods.
She leads the MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology) course, supervises MSc and DPhil students, and acts as an assessor across a wide range of programmes in the Department. Ariel convenes the Foundations of Educational Research modules taken as a research methods core by Probationer Research (first-year DPhil) Students and MSc Education students. Outside the department, she is also Course Tutor for a mixed methods short course in the Department for Continuing Education.
Methodologically, her interest are in mixed methods, advanced quantitative methods, and appropriately contextualised approaches to evaluation. Her substantive research interests relate to educational effectiveness and improvement, equity issues in education, and classroom practice.
Ariel previously completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford. She holds Qualified Teacher Status in the UK, and prior to becoming a researcher she was a secondary mathematics teacher in the USA since 2006.
Her previous degree was a Masters in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Hunter College, City University of New York.