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Department of Education

Viewing archives for Subject Pedagogy

Pippa is a first-year DPhil student, whose research interests focus on vulnerable students’ outcomes and experiences of secondary school English education.

In 2023, Pippa completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, researching pedagogical strategies for the teaching of emotionally challenging literature to students with experiences of trauma. Her DPhil research will build on this project, exploring looked after children’s engagement with English education, and their outcomes in the subject.

Alongside her research, Pippa continues to teach English in a secondary school; she is therefore passionate about collaborations between practice and research. Her project seeks to develop our understanding of looked after children’s experiences in English classrooms, in order to facilitate the development of strategies to support these vulnerable learners.


Nicole Dingwall and Julie Selwyn

Penny is a DPhil student whose research interests centre on classroom talk and international collaborations between secondary English classrooms.

Penny completed Oxford’s MSc in Learning and Teaching with distinction in 2019, focusing on methods for mitigating the impact of mind-wandering and misunderstanding as a means of enhancing student engagement in small-group and whole-class debates of interpretations of literature.  She has since won SHINE research funding to explore the impact of her methodology on students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Her DPhil continues her interest in student discussions of literature, exploring the impact on identity of online discussions between English classrooms in different countries.

Penny began her career as a secondary English Language Arts and journalism teacher in the USA but has taught secondary English predominantly in the UK in a career spanning 25 years.  She has overseen development of the global dimension and international collaboration at her current school for 14 years.


Victoria Elliott and Steven Puttick

Victoria is an educational researcher and practitioner, specialising in educational support and methodology of teaching mathematics to low-achieving students. For over 9 years she has been working at Big Change Educational Centre (Moscow) which provides support to looked-after children.

Before joining the DPhil programme, she completed her undergraduate degree in Finance at Financial University in Moscow and then gained a MSc in Psychology of Education from the University of Bristol.

Victoria’s current research focuses on educational issues of care-experienced children and teaching mathematics to students of low achievement and motivation.


Karen Skilling and Gabriel Stylianides

Wai Lok took triple Mathematics at A-levels, holds an MPhil in Finance with a specialisation in Financial Engineering (University of Cambridge), a BSc in Mathematics with Economics (University College London) and has experience working in the financial sector and educational sector. 

Wai Lok’s research lies within the field of effective teaching practices of game theory, which increasingly is a core subject for any economics degree and a popular option for a maths degree and some social sciences degrees. Wai Lok’s research aims to explore the explanatory nature of solving for a Nash equilibrium and how well it equips undergraduate students to build intuitive insights into strategy. Wai Lok would like to answer related questions for the process of finding a Nash equilibrium and explore conditions under which such exercises are explanatory and develop intuition or the ability to apply the lessons learned.


Gabriel Stylianides and Jonathan Michie

Jane is a part-time DPhil student and secondary school geography teacher. Jane’s research focuses on understanding climate change anxiety in young people and how it can be addressed through developing holistic pedagogical strategies which equip learners to develop their own sense of agency.

Jane completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford in 2022. Her dissertation addressed the misconceptions held by Year 8 learners about the continent of Africa and explored the role of geography teachers in tackling the dangers of single stories by decolonising the geography curriculum.

Jane teaches geography at a co-educational state grammar school.



Steven Puttick

Motema studied Neuroscience as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College in the USA and it is one of its courses, found interest in Education.

Motema then worked for various non-profit organisations in Lesotho and South Africa focusing on helping high school students from low SES backgrounds access opportunities to study in HE. In her Masters’ project Motema analysed Lesotho’s 2009 Curriculum and Assessment Policy. This analysis’ findings brought Motema to her current research interests which include gendered STEM education and decolonisation of education policies and curricula in Lesotho. For her DPhil project, Motema is interested in finding out the lived experiences of female Science teachers in Lesotho Secondary Schools especially focusing on the major changes in the Secondary school education system in Lesotho that have happened in the past five years as unique meeting points.


Ann Childs and Judith Hillier

Robert has been involved in secondary mathematics education since 2004. He has taught mathematics in schools in the Midlands, London and the US, and has contributed to a number of textbook series and books for teachers.

Robert was awarded his PhD by the University of Warwick in 2013. His interests include the purposes of mathematics education, improving pedagogy and practice, and finding new ways to get pupils excited about and engaged with mathematics.