IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Dr Cosette Crisan

Dr Cosette Crisan is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in Mathematics Education.

What attracted you to take up your position at IOE?

While enrolled on a PhD in Mathematics Education, I used to spend many hours studying in the fantastic and one-of-a-kind IOE Library. I also used to dream of one day becoming a member of staff at what was known then as a world-leading specialist education institution. Fast forward 10 years, I became a member of a dedicated academic community at IOE, now known as the World Number 1 in Education.

What were you doing in between that time?

I taught Mathematics at secondary school level (for six years), and prior to that at undergraduate level (for ten years). Since joining IOE, I have worked as a Mathematics educator, teaching on Postgraduate taught courses (Secondary Mathematics PGCE and Mathematics Education MA) and supervising students at the Master's and EdD/PhD levels.

What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries or insights will bring?

In my research, I am particularly interested in how key practices of the discipline of mathematics could be better promoted and incorporated into the teaching and learning of school mathematics.

As a co-leader of the Subject Specialist Research Group, I am involved in an international collaboration with colleagues from Sweden and Finland. As subject-specific mentors have an influential role to play in the training and education of the new teachers, we are currently exploring how mentors support novice teachers in planning for and teaching school subject by taking a comparative perspective across education systems in different national contexts and in different school subjects.

What's the most important thing you've learned from your students?

Our Mathematics Education MA is one of the few Mathematics Education specialist Master's degrees in the UK. It offers a range of modules covering a variety of topics in Mathematics Education topics from early years to university.

I always learn from conversations I have with my students about research and practice; their own perspectives are rich sources of learning and reflection for me. 

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I feel extremely fortunate to work with a great team of Mathematics Educators, all with various and complementing research interests. We are all committed to research-informed teaching and learning, and continuous professional development.

In my role as Academic Head of Learning and Teaching, I enjoy supporting colleagues to learn from each other and adapt their teaching in ways that have been shown by research in meeting the needs of the ever-changing profile of our postgraduate students.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Together with my colleague Dr Eirini Geraniou, I was awarded the IOE Faculty Education Team Award (2021) in recognition of our research-informed understanding that has enabled us to help academic colleagues to adapt at very short notice to meet the requirements of online remote teaching and think critically about their online pedagogy.

What might it surprise people to know about you?

I almost made it into the junior national volleyball team at the age of 13. A training injury just after the selection meant that I left volleyball behind (for a while) and instead threw all my energy into doing Mathematics.

What other subjects outside of your area of specialism interest you?

I have recently become interested in Cognitive Neuroscience, as this is a career path my daughter is currently interested in pursuing. It is all fascinating to me and I have started wondering if there is such a thing as Mathematical Neuroscience….

Last updated 28 July 2023.