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Institute of Education

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Q&A with Dr Ruth Dann

Dr Ruth Dann is an Associate Professor in Education in the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment.

What attracted you to take up your position at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
I came to UCL in 2016 - it’s one of very few universities which specialise in educational assessment.

Which UCL programmes do you contribute to in the current 2018/19 academic year?
I currently teach on the Educational Assessment MA. I also supervise a number of doctoral students who have an interest in assessment and learning.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your students about the subject you teach?
I have the privilege of teaching students from around the world and this enables me to learn from them. Since starting at UCL I have a much better global perspective on the issues I teach, with real examples and insights from the experiences of the students. On our MA programmes we try to ensure that we create a community in which we can all learn from each other. I am constantly challenged to keep thinking and exploring new ideas with my students. This means that my teaching is constantly changing and looking for new connections and insights.
 

Writing high quality academic work, which is also accessible and relevant to teachers, is something that I strive to do. Ensuring that my academic research draws from and links to practice is a professional priority for my work"


What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries and/or insights will bring?
In most of my writing and research I try to locate pupils centrally in their education. I try to give them voice and work so that they have more agency to be part of their education rather than the subjects of an externally driven accountability agenda. Most of my research and writing focuses on assessment, but particularly considers assessment in relation to assessment and learning in classroom contexts. I also try to locate this in a broader policy framing so that theory, policy and practice are interconnected. 

What do you most enjoy about your position and why?
In my current role at the IOE I can ensure that my teaching and research are well aligned and feed into one another. I can be part of a thriving research and teaching community in which I can both learn and contribute. I can be valued beyond UCL, for my contribution to the field of formative assessment and primary education.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
My two monographs: Dann, R. (2002) Promoting Assessment As Learning, and Dann, R. (2018) Developing Feedback for Pupil Learning. Writing high quality academic work, which is also accessible and relevant to teachers, is something that I strive to do. Ensuring that my academic research draws from and links to practice is a professional priority for my work.

 

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