Kate’s current research centres on enhancing informal educational environments to maximise child outcomes. Through this, she hopes to contribute towards gently helping children discover their passions and thoughtfully equipping them to live into their best and healthiest selves, whatever that means to them each day. Her broader research interests include the role of family in out-of-school learning, socio-emotional development, and education-based non-profit evaluation.
The focus of Kate’s doctoral work is to better understand child learning in museum contexts, with a particular emphasis on family visits to the ‘children’s museum’. More specifically, she aims to both identify what impacts such visits can result in, as well as explore how they might be optimally reached; in other words, what about a children’s museum visit makes it a high-quality children’s museum visit.
Prior to beginning the DPhil programme, Kate received her B.S. Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and her MSc Education (Child Development and Education) at the University of Oxford, for which she conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of museum intervention on parent-child dyadic conversations.
Bhabesh’s research Inquire into the systemic practices in a school to understand the implications of already existing classification of roles, and regulations based on power and control dynamics within the school. Also, focusing on the systemic apparatuses existing in a schooling system, wherein there is a categorical divide between the students
that are the academically poor and the administrative personnel who pose authority.
As a mathematics teacher who believes that anyone can understand mathematics, Ashley is keenly interested in developing interventions and resources for learners who struggle with the subject. More specifically, she is focusing on the transitionary moment in the classroom when discussions have ceased, and practice begins and how this transition can become more fluid for learners.
By drawing on research from education, psychology and cognitive neuroscience, Ashley hopes to gain insights into how the brain and mind process information and how this knowledge can inform teacher practice and, ultimately, help learners understand mathematics.
After having taught for over ten years, Ashley completed her MSc, with Distinction, at the Department of Education, and her dissertation was “Highly Commended” by the British Educational Research Association (BERA). She is committed to making mathematics more accessible for all learners and strives for research that is not only impactful but also directly applicable to the classroom.
McQueen is a Clarendon Scholar and is currently reading for a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford. Her thesis focuses on the digital pedagogy responses of universities in East Asia to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her doctoral research is fully funded by the Clarendon and New College Scholarships.
McQueen is a member of the Centre for Global Higher Education. Her research interests include higher education, e-learning, and learning technologies. Her research interests are influenced by her experiences of working as an academic tutor at the University of Hong Kong and a researcher for Khan Academy and HarvardX (edX).
Prior to coming to Oxford, McQueen completed her master’s degree with a specialisation in media and learning technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University in the City of New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and international business at the University of Hong Kong with a full merit-based scholarship.
Yousef’s current doctoral research explores the educational resilience pathways of unaccompanied refugee minors. Their research draws upon data and fieldwork from Jordan and Greece.
Yousef is also a research officer at the department, working with the Rees Centre on local authority data analytics projects in the UK (PI: Professor Leon Feinstein), and with TalkTogether, a UKRI GCRF-funded research programme in India and the Philippines (PI: Professor Sonali Nag).
Prior to their doctoral studies, Yousef worked in program management and social data analytics for various NGOs, governments, and United Nations agencies internationally. Yousef holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Master of Education from Harvard University.
· Feinstein, L., Aleghfeli, Y. K., Buckley, C., Gilhooly, R., & Kohli, R. K. S. (2021). Conceptualising and measuring levels of risk by immigration status for children in the UK. Contemporary Social Science, 16(5), 538–555. https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2021.2007279
· Aleghfeli, Y. K., & Hunt, L. (2021). Protocol for a systematic mixed-methods review of risk and resilience factors for the education of unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews. https://idesr.org/?doc=IDESR000002
· UNDP. (2017). E-Consultation: Somalia 2016, towards an inclusive Somalia national development plan 2017-2019. https://www2.sdgactioncampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/report-somalia-e-survey-ndp-sdgs-4.pdf
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
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
Shepard, & O’Grady. (2017). What kinds of alternative possibilities are required of the folk concept(s) of choice? Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 138-148.
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.