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Q&A with Gideon Sappor

Dr Gideon Sappor is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Early Years and Primary Education, based in the IOE's Department of Learning and Leadership.

What do you most enjoy about your position and why?
I enjoy seeing the practical application of psychological principles and theories (my PhD is in developmental psychology) in teaching and learning. 

What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries and insights will bring?
My research interests include the role played by the motivational and affective elements in academic performance and how they are developed by children. This includes self-regulation, self-efficacy and maths anxiety including how they are influenced by cultural factors.

I hope teachers will have a better understanding of the cultural forces that shape the lives of their pupils so they can be better supported, especially in science and maths curricular contexts. My interests naturally extend into BAME attainment and access into top level universities; this includes access to highly desirable and competitive career opportunities.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
My proudest moment in teaching was taking on a very difficult and challenging Year 6 class in only my second year of teaching to achieve the best SATS results the school had ever had. One of the ‘troublesome’ boys who had been earmarked for permanent exclusion hugged me at the leavers’ assembly, tears in his eyes, and said he’d like to be like me when he grows up – priceless memory.

Gideon Sappor, UCL Institute of Education
One of the ‘troublesome’ boys who had been earmarked for permanent exclusion hugged me at the leavers’ assembly, tears in his eyes, and said he’d like to be like me when he grows up – priceless memory."


How long have you been at the IOE and what were you doing before that?
I joined the IOE in 2011 as a student, but within that period I also worked as a primary school teacher. I clocked up over 11 years working as a teacher in various primary schools. I joined the IOE staff in 2016. Being at UCL has given me the pleasure of meeting and working with some amazingly brilliant people.

What attracted you to take up your position at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
As a PhD student, I got the opportunity to teach on some MSc modules at the IOE's Department of Psychology and Human Development. It was a privilege to work alongside some of the best minds in the field; I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. A vacancy came up, I applied, and I got the job.

 

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