IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Ashraf Islam

Ashraf Islam is studying Mathematics Education MA on the flexible route.

MA student Ashraf sits below a large hanging globe

Hello, Ashraf!

What was your educational route to UCL?

I studied BEng Material Science and Engineering at Queen Mary University, followed by PGCE Secondary Mathematics at Goldsmiths University.

So what motivated you to pursue a Master's in Mathematics Education?

As part of my long-term development plan, I applied for the Master’s in 2019 after accumulating some years of experience in teaching which I believe is pivotal to make the most out of this course. The completion of this course will support my application for future roles.

What made you choose IOE?

IOE is world renowned for teaching and learning, and I have personally spoken to middle leaders in school that have benefited from courses led by IOE.

What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?

The Understanding Mathematics Education module looks deeply into reasoning and explores how mindset is pivotal for student progression. The themes I have explored independently and in small groups has allowed me to broaden my thoughts and knowledge. I strongly believe for teachers to improve their pedagogies they need to believe in their own capacity for growth and improvement and be prepared to be challenged in their beliefs about learning.

As a full-time secondary school maths teacher, I enjoy learning about new ways in introducing familiar topics.

What are your next career plans? 

I was promoted last year as Lead Practitioner of Mathematics in my school. The ongoing learning and development from this course exceedingly helped my progression. I would like to pursue the role of Assistant Headteacher in the future.

Do you think the MA is a good investment?

A really good investment for teachers who want to progress in their career and develop their pedagogy. I was able to effectively communicate my journey thus far into the Master’s course and received very good feedback from my last interview last year followed by promotion to be Lead Practitioner.

What are your IOE highlights so far? 

I have been voted by my peers to be the student academic representative 2020 – 2022. I have enjoyed this role and have collaborated with fellow representatives to voice any shared views.

What is it like studying in London?

I have lived in London all my life and completed both my undergraduate and postgraduate (PGCE) degree in the city too. London is the best place to meet people from all backgrounds which really helps your sense of perspective.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I appreciate the support from the teaching staff in all modules that I have taken throughout the year, in particular my supervisor and course leader, Dr Cosette Crisan. We were given detailed and tailored feedback to our tasks which helped with our understanding and respective assignments.

As a full-time teacher, IOE has been very supportive. Lectures have been delivered well using a range of interactive resources. As the weeks went by any worries about managing commitments lessened. The modules are organised well with clear timelines.