Mana Alamry (Saudi Arabia)
I came across UEA by searching on the Internet for the best universities in Mathematics Education. I also asked some of my students’ friends who had studied at UEA and they praised the University and how it welcomes overseas students. I applied because I wanted to contribute to the development of educational work in my country, Saudi Arabia.
The best day was the first day, when the course director said, “Rest assured, we will help you to become a researcher.”
The degree has had a major impact in my educational practice. Some of the skills I learned at the UEA have helped me a lot, especially the skills of scientific research and working in groups.
Norwich is a safe city, and I felt comfortable there with my wife and children. The castle was one of the most beautiful archaeological and heritage sites in the city, and an unforgettable moment was attending the Norfolk Arts Festival and Norwich Festival.
I advise current students to take advantage of every moment at this university. The university has a great library and connects with many international libraries. I also advise students to try to communicate with schools in the city. My children were with me, so it was easy to communicate with these schools, visit them and note some of their work, but some students may find that difficult.
Wen Shi (China)
It was definitely the best decision I have made to study at UEA. All the staff at UEA are supportive, and they helped me in many different ways. As an overseas student, support staff at UEA ensured that I was well during the time when I was there so that I could focus on my course. I enjoyed every day when I was at UEA and I still miss those days when I was a student at UEA.
I developed my communication skills and my understanding of Mathematics Education at UEA. I was supported by great teachers at UEA, and that made me more confident when I started my career. The knowledge that I learnt at UEA definitely helps me understanding learning and teaching Mathematics much better, and it makes it easier for me to understand how to teach students Maths better.
I worked as a Maths teacher at Ark Boulton in Birmingham in the first year after graduating from UEA. In order to complete teacher training, I then worked at Holland Park School from January 2017. I started a new role leading sixth form Mathematics at Holland Park after I got my Qualified Teacher Status from September 2018.
I enjoy teaching and spending time with students. I was planning to work as a maths teacher in a secondary school when I started at UEA, but I was not sure whether I would stay in the UK or return to China. I will continue to work at Holland Park, and it would be lovely if I could have the opportunity to go back to UEA to do my PhD degree in the future.
Angeliki Stylianidou (Greece)
I found out about UEA when I was an undergraduate student in the School of Primary Education in Thessaloniki, Greece. Towards the last year of my undergraduate studies, I was thinking to do a Master’s in Mathematics Education, as Mathematics has been my favourite subject. One of my lecturers in Mathematics Education recommended UEA to me.
I completed my Master’s in Mathematics Education at UEA in September 2014 and then published findings from my MA dissertation in the proceedings of the Greek Association for Research in Mathematics Education (GARME) conference.
For approximately 2 months, I worked as a volunteer teaching assistant in a primary school in Norwich and also as a supply teacher in primary schools in Norfolk and Suffolk in order to gain experience teaching in British primary schools. My dissertation supervisor and UEA’s CareerCentral helped me in finding these opportunities.
As soon as I felt more familiar with the British educational system, I applied for a teaching assistant post in a primary school in Thetford. I stayed in this position for approximately two years. I worked with pupils of all abilities, of various ethnic backgrounds and of various Year Groups, in and outside the classroom, offering one-to-one support and also supporting groups of pupils. While I supported pupils in all the primary school subjects, my main subject was Mathematics.
I very much enjoyed my teaching. Interacting with teachers and pupils, as well as learning and finding ways to support pupils relatively to their needs, filled me with great satisfaction. As the time was passing, I started to think of ‘broadening’ my help to pupils. I began to reflect on ways through which I could offer help not just to specific pupils in a specific classroom but to pupils more broadly. The Challenging Ableist Perspectives on the Teaching of Mathematics (CAPTeaM) workshop that I attended at UEA in 2015 made me see a route through which my desire could be fulfilled. Experiencing a new area in Mathematics Education research, I got excited with the CAPTeaM project’s non-ableist and inclusive character orientated to disabled learners. Since then, I thought that a PhD in the research area of inclusion of disabled learners should be my next step towards broadening my knowledge and my support to pupils.
Funded through a UEA Social Sciences Faculty Doctoral Studentship, I started my PhD at UEA in October 2016 and I am now in my final year of my studies. As part of my professional development during my doctoral studies, I am also appointed as a part-time Research Associate on CAPTeaM. My PhD journey has been tough but very exciting and multiply rewarding.
Working on my PhD involves a range of key tasks and skills on a day-to-day basis. It involves critical reading and thinking, analytical skills, writing and presentation skills, innovation and time management.
School of Education and Lifelong Learning