Jisoo Seo is a DPhil student in the Department of Education conducting research in primary mathematics education.
Jisoo earned Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction (double major in biochemistry and pharmacology and a minor in psychology) at the University of Toronto. During that time, she worked as a mathematics tutor and observed how “mathematics often serves as a gate-keeper, an exclusive instrument for stratification, rather than an inclusive instrument for empowerment” (Stinson, 2004). Witnessing this unfortunate reality, she decided to join the field of education. After completing a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education at the University of Toronto, she worked as a substitute primary teacher for the Toronto and York Region District School Boards and as a research officer for the Robertson Program for Inquiry-Based Teaching in Mathematics and Science, University of Toronto. During her time at the Robertson Program, she worked in collaboration with schools, educators, community leaders, and students from First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, focusing on early years geometry and spatial sense.
She later completed her MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology) at the University of Oxford with the vision of: 1) providing children from marginalized and underserved communities a more equitable and inclusive mathematics learning experience, and 2) doing so by developing, designing, and disseminating higher quality, research-based mathematics curriculum and pedagogical practices. She continues to work towards her vision as a DPhil student now.
Hawes, Z., Cain, M., Jones, S., Thomson, N., Bailey, C., Seo J., Caswell, B., & Moss, J. (2020). Effects of a teacher-designed and teacher-led numerical board game intervention: A randomised controlled study with 4- to 6-year-olds, Mind, Brain, and Education, 14, 71-80.
Hawes, Z., Moss, J., Caswell, B., Seo, J., & Ansari, D. (2019). Relations between numerical, spatial, and executive function skills and mathematics achievement: A latent-variable approach, Cognitive Psychology, 109, 68-90.
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.
Erik Kappe graduated with a BS in Materials Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 2005 and a MS in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 2012.
He has spent time working in research and development as well as test and evaluation for the US Air Force. He recently finished 3 years of teaching chemistry at the college level and is looking to improve his teaching ability with a DPhil focusing in science education.
His research interests focus on understanding science teachers’ beliefs and their connection to their teaching practices. He is accompanied in England by his beautiful wife and their 5 small children.