Ten students started their PhD research journey at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education (IoE) this term. We would like to extend a very warm welcome to the newest members of our IoE research community, and we hope everyone will help them feel settled over the next few weeks and months. You can learn more about them below.
Alhanouf’s proposed research aims to explore the role of using storytelling to support development of mathematical skills of preschool children in Saudi Arabia. Her supervisors are Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai and Dr. Maria Kambouri.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Alhanouf said: “I have chosen the University of Reading for its outstanding reputation and good faculty members. I do believe that having the opportunity to do my PhD in such an inspiring environment will provide me with the skills, expertise, and knowledge I need to succeed as a high quality academic.”
Alhanouf earned her MA in Educational Studies from Loyola Marymount University (California, USA) in 2017. She has since worked as a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at King Saud University (Saudi Arabia) which funds her PhD.
Wasayef’s proposed research sets out to explore the role of using socio-dramatic play to introduce children’s inherited culture to their peers. Her supervisors are Dr. Geoff Taggart and Mr. Simon Floodgate.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Wasayef said: “I chose the University of Reading IoE because I studied for my MA in Education at the IoE in 2019, and I would like to have the same wonderful support for my PhD.”
Wasayef did her BA in Early Years Education at the University of Dammam (Saudi Arabia), and later worked as a teaching assistant. From 2013, she had worked as a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (Saudi Arabia) before gaining her MA in Education from the University of Reading.
Danyah’s research aims to evaluate of the implementation of Quality Assurance Standards at a university in Saudi Arabia from Heads of Departments’ perspectives. Her supervisor is Prof. Alan Floyd.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Danyah said: “I chose to do my PhD at the University of Reading for its prestigious reputation and high-ranking Institute of Education. Equally important, the supervisors are experienced and cooperative with students.”
Prior to her PhD study, Danyah earned her MA in Education from from King Saud University (Saudi Arabia), and since 2011, she has worked as a Lecturer in Education at King Saud University which funds her PhD.
Luke’s proposed research sets out to explore the types of knowledge found within Drama as a secondary school discipline and the implications this has for Drama curriculum design. His supervisors are Dr. Rachel Roberts and Prof. Richard Harris.
On why he decided to pursue his PhD research at the IoE, Luke said: “I decided to pursue my PhD research at the University of Reading after earning my MA here. I found the modules insightful and the expertise of the staff brilliant. It was the expertise of the staff that really sold the PhD.”
Luke is currently a head of Drama and leads on staff development at a school in Hampshire and he recently completed a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Reading. In the past, he completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) also at the University of Reading as well and a degree at Bath Spa University.
Yina’s proposed research aims to investigate the application of the Kodály method to teaching the Pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument, in contemporary Chinese contexts. Her supervisors are Dr. Rebecca Berkley and Dr. Nasreen Majid.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Yina said: “I was drawn back to the University of Reading’s Institute of Education to do my PhD because I had such a positive experience studying for my MA in Education here, and my PhD supervisor knows my research topic very well.”
Yina is a pipa player for 20 years. Prior to her PhD study, she did her first MA in Pipa Performance degree in China and her second one in MA in Music Education from the University of Reading (2018-2019).
Pam’s proposed research sets out to investigate how educational communities can assist in breaking the school-to-prison (S2P) pipeline for young women in marginalized societies. Her supervisor is Prof. Carol Fuller.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Pam said: “After researching many universities in the UK, I chose the University of Reading for its dedication to ethical and equitable experiences for women, the comprehensive PhD training and support, its reputation as a leader in educational research, and the university staff.”
For the past 20 years, Pam has been a secondary school teacher in high poverty schools in Oregon (USA). She has taught almost every subject (except math); however, her main subject to teach was Literature. She has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Curriculum Design & Implementation, and her Administrator Certificate all from Oregon universities. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a Marketing Communications Manager for a small medical records software company.
Xiaobo (Abraham) Li
Xiaobo’s proposed research aims to explore an explicit teaching approach to develop Chinese young learners’ English Syntactic knowledge. His supervisors are Dr. Rowena Kasprowicz and Prof. Suzanne Graham.
On why he decided to pursue his PhD research at the IoE, Xiaobo said: “I decided to pursue my PhD research at the IoE mostly because of my supervisors’ expertise in the field and insights in my research interests.”
Xiaobo had worked as a high school English teacher in northwestern China for ten years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Xi’an Peihua University (China) and his MA in English Language Education from the University of Reading.
Huining’s proposed research sets out to investigate whether there are differences in the effects of two types of Learning Management System-supported e-learning, namely synchronous and asynchronous e-learning, on the development of the self-regulated learning ability and L2 (second language) listening comprehension proficiency of Chinese undergraduates of different L2 listening proficiency levels. Her supervisors are Prof. Suzanne Graham and Dr. Pengchong Anthony Zhang.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Huining said:“I chose the University of Reading for my PhD study because of its global reputation. The university’s academic standard is second to none. Besides, the University also has a high quality PhD programme that fully meets my study needs. I am, therefore, very proud to be a PhD student at the University’s Institute of Education.”
Huining had worked as an English teacher and earned her MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Macquarie University in Australia.
Jiarun’s proposed research aims to better understand digital vocabulary learning by making a comparison of three main digital vocabulary learning activities (i.e., digital flashcard, podcast, and personal strategy) to figure out how they affect learners’ vocabulary learning. His supervisors are Dr. Anthony Pengchong Zhang and Dr. Rowena Kasprowicz.
On why he decided to pursue his PhD research at the IoE, Jiarun said:“The University of Reading has been at the forefront of UK higher education. Over the past decades, it has become an pioneer in pushing academic boundaries and leading social change.”
Prior to his PhD, Jiarun worked as a teacher responsible for oral English teaching in a junior high school in China. He earned his BA in English from North China Institute of Science and Technology and his MA in English Language Education from the University of Reading (Guangdong program).
Hongyan’s proposed research aims to explore how to support Chinese left-behind children in their early years. It is hoped to have their voice heard and raise public awareness. Her supervisors are Dr. Geoff Taggart and Prof. Carol Fuller.
On why she decided to pursue her PhD research at the IoE, Hongyan said: “As a previous MA student at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education, not only am I fully supported by my lecturers but also deeply inspired by them. I am eager to be like my dedicated supervisors, making a significant contribution to education.”
Prior to her PhD, Hongyan worked as an English teacher for over ten years in China. She earned her MA in Inclusive Education from the University of Reading in 2020.